Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 4

Photo of Robert W. Derlet

Robert W. Derlet

130,845 votes (37.3%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Healthcare: Lower copays, insurance and prescription costs. Expand primary care physicians.
  • Public Health: fight for clean water, clean air, and decrease greenhouse gasses to halt global warming.
  • Consumer Protection: Support legislation to protect consumers from deceptive Wall Street practices, and keep Social security out of Wall Street



Profession:Physician, Professor, Author
Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis (2008–current)
Member, Tuolumne County Democratic Central Committee — Appointed position (2014–current)
Staff Physician, Mewuk Indian Health Center, Tuolumne, CA (2011–2015)
Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine (1980–2008)
Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine,, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento (1986–2003)
Chief of Staff, UC Davis Medical Center (1998–2000)


University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine M.D., Doctor of Medicine (1975)
University of California, Santa Cruz BA, Biology (1971)

Community Activities

Editorial Board, Emergency Medicine International Journal (2004–current)
Editorial Board and Section Editor, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine (2000–current)
Medical Consultant, McKesson Health (2002–current)
Lecturer, Wilderness Medicine, LLC (2002–current)
Author, WebMD (2008–current)


Dr. Robert (Bob) Derlet grew up in a working class neighborhood of Los Angeles in an era when kids played in the dirt of vacant lots, and dreamed about becoming firemen or racecar drivers. His dad worked for the LA Times/Mirror in street sales distribution.

Bob began after-school work at the early age of eight years, selling newspapers to traffic at the signal light of Santa Monica Blvd/Vine in Hollywood. After-school and summer-work continued through college, at jobs ranging from newspapers, to construction, to cattle ranching, to a boiler room scrub on a Merchant Ship.

The Derlet family moved to Hawaii when Bob was eleven, where he continued school on the island of Oahu. The family returned to LA, where he graduated with highest honors from John Marshall High School. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, being the first in his family line to go to a four-year college.

After finishing Medical School, he spent his career at UC Davis as a Professor and Chief of Emergency Medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He taught medical students, published over 100 scientific research articles, started a training program for specialists in Emergency Medicine, and served two terms as Chief of Staff.

Part-time resident of Twain Harte, CA, for 15+ years, he moved there permanently five years ago wanting to live year-around near the outdoor recreational opportunities of Sierra Nevada. But Medicine called again, so he put in another three years, this time as a front-line primary care physician at a Rural Health Clinic in Tuolumne City. Listening to the many struggles of his patients in navigating a complex healthcare system while trying to stay afloat economically galvanized him to run for Congress.

Bob has four college-educated daughters and three adorable grandchildren.

Questions & Answers

Questions from The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and California Counts, a public media collaboration. (4)

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of laws.  What, if any, legislation would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Robert W. Derlet:

Fresh water is critical to the millions of people who live in California, and to our agricultural economy. Protecting our Sierra Nevada Mountain snowpack and watershed should to be our first priority.  Scientific management of watershed forests  requires Federal funding, which I will support. More efficient use of water both at home and on the farm can be achieved through funding research, and technologies.  Climate change and drought will challenge California, and Federal initiatives to counter climate change are essential.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Robert W. Derlet:

We are a country of immigrants. We have an orderly process of legal immigration, which has strengthened our national core. We also have many undocumented immigrants, who contribute to our workforce and pay taxes. I support a pathway to citizenship, and this should be a priority for Congress.

What, if anything, does the U.S. need to do in order to address national security and terrorism? Please explain your answer in detail.
Answer from Robert W. Derlet:

We have the best armed forces of any country in the world.  We must continue to be vigilant against any potential aggression by nations possessing nuclear weapons such as North Korea and Russia. The war torn Middle East countries Iraq and Syria pose great challenges.  ISIS poses a global threat  that must be defeated.  Our duty is to employ maximum, diplomatic, economic, and cyber weapons, work with our United Nations allies, and to support the military efforts of front line Middle East nations.

The political climate in Washington, D.C. has been extremely partisan in recent years. In that kind of atmosphere, what would you do to get things done while in office?
Answer from Robert W. Derlet:

Our government has been one of legislative compromises beginning with the many drafts of the US Constitution.  Both sides of the aisle can come to agreement on so may issues, for example the Chemical Safety act (HR 2576) just passed in the House in May 2016 with a 403 to 12 vote.  Setting aside ideologies and labels, and passing legislation that benefits the people of this nation can be achieved by negotiation and dialog.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $104,399

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
Employees of Fahr LLC
Communications Workers of America
Joint Apprenticeship Committee for the Plumbing and Pipe

More information about contributions

By State:

California 76.17%
Maryland 13.66%
District of Columbia 6.70%
Nevada 1.34%
New York 1.34%
Other 0.80%

By Size:

Large contributions (52.71%)
Small contributions (47.29%)

By Type:

From organizations (49.14%)
From individuals (50.86%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Wages and Cost of Living
The costs of living - housing, auto expenses, food, healthcare, and education - have rapidly increased while average family income has not. Outsourcing jobs overseas has driven down wages and increased unemployment. I will vote for policies that bring jobs back to the USA and up the minimum wage for all workers.

Consumer Rights
We need to prevent financial institutions and corporations from cheating Americans with their new "gotcha!" fees on bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and consumer goods such as basic cell phone service. I will defend our Consumer Rights.

I will push for legislation to provide all our children and grandchildren with first class educational opportunities that will make them leaders in a competitive world. Our colleges must be affordable and our students protected from predatory lending practices.

Healthcare is outrageously expensive. Much of the money finds its way to profits, at your expense. The healthcare insurance segment retains up to 25 percent of your healthcare dollar. Limiting what insurance companies keep, and capping maximum healthcare charges, would save money for American families and our small businesses.

Social Security and Medicare
The older Americans who helped build this country should not be sold out to Wall Street. Social Security should not be handed over to speculators or hedge funds, as some members of Congress have proposed. Medicare should not be converted to a voucher system that allows insurance companies to dictate your medical care and limit your choice of doctors. In addition, let's work on lowering the Medicare age to 55 years old.

Equal pay for equal work
I support equal pay for equal work. In California, women are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to men. If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in California would have enough money for approximately 59 more weeks of food for her family.

Climate Change
California’s four year drought and the strong possibility that it may continue is an urgent concern to all of us. Our every day lives and the economics of a state whose wealth is strongly related to our agricultural production and the recreational use of its streams, lakes, and estuary are all being impacted by a warming climate.

Once in Congress, I will first press for a workable and sustainable clean energy policy. Second, I will work for recognition that the changing climate will require a  realistic approach to protecting California’s food production. This will require working to improve the management of California’s increasingly limited and drought threatened water supply.

Candidate Contact Info

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