“THE CALIFORNIA TRAILBLAZERS PROGRAM is essential in the effort to revitalize California as it identifies and trains candidates throughout our state who are committed to the principles of efficient and accountable government, personal initiative, and free enterprise.
I’m impressed with the current Trailblazer candidates in the 2018 election cycle as they continue to work tirelessly to better our local communities. I believe these candidates will provide the new and innovative ideas that our state needs.”
-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
California Trailblazers, modeled after the successful national Young Guns program, successfully recruits, trains and elects Republicans to state legislative office.
Rigorous fundraising and campaign benchmarks are required before advancing to the next tier. As our members advance through the tiers, additional support is given to ensure a strong and competitive campaign.
The Trailblazer Program also provides resources of ongoing education for candidates to learn campaign fundamentals. Candidates will have access to industry professionals to assist in developing finance, grassroots, administrative, and political plans.
The program will supply quality fundraisers, coalition building experts, media training, issue briefings and more to ensure Trailblazer candidates have the tools to win on Election Day.
“California Trailblazers provided cutting-edge information, training and strategy to significantly bolster my candidacy for Assembly and create the best possible pathway for a successful campaign. The collective support of Trailblazers alumni, board members and staff leveraged best practices and resources that are second to none. This program will continue to play a key role in electing the next generation of diverse and dynamic Republican leaders in this state.”
– Assemblyman Vince Fong
MEET THE BOARD
JESSICA PATTERSON is CEO of California Trailblazers. Previously, Patterson served as the statewide Field Director for Meg Whitman for Governor, California Victory Director in 2010 and 2012 with the California Republican Party, as well as Nevada Victory Director at the Republican National Committee.
JESSICA PATTERSONJessica Millan Patterson is a wife, mother, and political professional, CEO of California Trailblazers Jessica recruits and trains candidates throughout California to run for California state legislature. Jessica has served the California Republican Party, Republican National Committee, Statewide and National Candidates for over a decade. She is well-known for her get-things done no nonsense style; committed to her cause and clients she maintains strong friendships with political allies and rivals alike. Blessed with many talents, Jessica is highly regarded for her experience and expertise running ground games and organizing floor operations
CEO of Randle Communications, one of the top public relations firms in California. Randle has more than two decades of political, media and communications expertise, including service as Governor Wilson’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
JEFF RANDLE, CHAIRJeff Randle, President and CEO, leads the firm he founded in 2001. The Sacramento Business Journal has ranked Randle Communications the top locally-owned public relations firm in the greater Sacramento region for the last three years.
Randle has more than two decades of political, media, and communications expertise and is considered one of the state’s leading strategists by lawmakers, business leaders and the media. Randle perfected his skills with experience as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Pete Wilson and as a key member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s political team. Randle served as a senior advisor to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and her 2010 California gubernatorial campaign. He has worked closely with her since 2007 and continues to work with her today.
In 2010, Randle was named by Capitol Weekly as one of the top 50 most influential people in California and by Campaigns and Elections magazine as one of the top 100 political influencers in the state.
For the firm, Randle oversees the strategy and communications activities for all clients. He has crafted statewide public relations and public affairs campaigns for prominent organizations including University of Phoenix, Golden State Water Company, the California Association of REALTORS®, the California Building Industry Association and the Chief Probation Officers of California.
Randle was a key member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s political team from 2002-2006. In 2002, he helped Schwarzenegger pass Proposition 49, the After School Safety & Education Program Act. In 2003, he served as political director during the Governor’s 2003 recall election campaign and in 2004 and 2005, directed all statewide grassroots political efforts on behalf of Schwarzenegger’s initiative campaigns. In 2006, he served as a senior advisor to the Governor’s re-election campaign.
From 1998-2001, Randle was Executive Vice President of Stoorza Communications, California’s largest independent public relations firm, where he also served as General Manager of the Sacramento Office. From 1991-1998, Randle served as a Deputy Chief of Staff to former Governor Pete Wilson. Randle was responsible for statewide communications and coalition building efforts on behalf of the Governor’s agenda. He also directed the Governor’s eight statewide field offices that were responsible for outreach on behalf of the Governor’s policy and political initiatives.
Randle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1986. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, Kellie, and their three children Annie, Jake and Jillie Kate. Randle enjoys spending time with his family as well as rooting for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and all UCLA Bruins sports teams.
founding member of New Majority Los Angeles, one of the largest Republican political organizations in California. Hakes has been active in many state and national political campaigns, including service as delegate to the Republican National Convention.
HOWARD HAKESHakes has been active in many state and national political campaigns. In 2005, Hakes became a founding member of New Majority Los Angeles, one of the largest Republican political organizations in California. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for New Majority California and holds the position of Federal Political Action Committee chairman and finance chairman for the Los Angeles chapter. In 2012, Hakes served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and remains a delegate to the California Republican Party.
In addition to Hakes’ support for Republican causes, he enjoys an esteemed professional career. Hakes serves as the chief operating officer for Hitchcock Automotive Resources, one of southern California’s largest automotive dealer groups, which owns and operates four dealerships throughout the region.
founding member and Chairman of the Hispanic 100, is a veteran of statewide and local political campaigns, including serving as the Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party and the National Hispanic Steering Committee.
MARIO RODRIGUEZAs one of the most well respected Latino Republicans in the country, Rodriguez’s experience, enthusiasm and tireless work ethic reflect the California Trailblazers culture. After serving as Vice Chairman of the California Republican Party from 2003 to 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Rodriguez to serve on the National Hispanic Steering Committee. He is a veteran of statewide and local political campaigns and has served as a member on the transition team for Governor Schwarzenegger and as the California Latino State Chairman for Meg Whitman’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Rodriguez serves as a member of the New Majority, and he is a founding member of the Hispanic 100 and serves as the organization’s Chairman. In addition, Rodriguez has a proven record, having successfully helped elect Assemblywoman Melendez, Assemblyman Chavez and Assemblyman Linder in 2012.
“We are going to lead by example, recruiting and supporting Latino Republicans to run, win and lead,” said Rodriguez. “This is a long-term commitment to our party and the people of California. I am excited about this opportunity to engage Latinos constructively and to demonstrate why the Republican Party is most closely aligned with our values,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez will work closely with Legislative Leaders Huff and Conway, California Trailblazers’ CEO Jessica Patterson, Chairman of the Board of Directors Jeff Randle and the Trailblazers’ Board of Directors. The robust training and support will lead to more Latino Republican candidates who are well positioned to compete and win legislative races.
Senior of Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has had an extraordinary career, including service as the first female officer at the Chevron Corporation and an appointee of Gov. Pete Wilson at the Fair Employment & Housing Commission and President George W. Bush to the Presidio Trust.
LYDIA L. BEEBELydia Beebe currently serves as the corporate secretary and chief governance officer of Chevron Corporation, a position she has held since being elected as Chevron’s first female corporate officer in 1995. Beebe has a rich background in public service, having been appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission in 1991, where she was chairperson from 1995 through the end of her term in 1999. Beebe was recently honored by California as a Civil Rights Hero for her work as chairperson to the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission. In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Beebe to the Board of Directors of Presidio Trust, where she served until 2008. Along with serving on the governing boards for the National Judicial College, Kansas University Endowment Association, Kansas University Law Alumni, the National Association of Corporate Directors of Northern California and the San Francisco Symphony, she also enjoys being an advisory board member of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance.
Political Director for the Assembly Republican Caucus, has served as an aide to California policymakers and candidates at the federal and state level. Andrews has more than 15 years of experience in executing policy initiatives, community outreach and constituent services.
GEORGE ANDREWSGeorge has served as an aide to California policymakers and candidates at the federal and state level over the past 15 years. Most recently, he was Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) from 2014-17 before being tapped to lead the 2018 election efforts for the Assembly Republicans.
He specializes in developing and executing policy initiatives with a focus on public relations, community outreach and constituent services.
He has served as an Executive Committee member for the NAACP-Antelope Valley and delegate to the Citizens Advisory Committee for California State Prison – Los Angeles.
George is a graduate of University of California, Davis where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History.
Chief of Staff to State Senator Jim Nielsen, is a veteran to California politics with more than 30 years experience. Reade has been a consultant and strategist to more than a hundred successful candidate and issue campaigns at the national, state and local levels.
DAVID READEDavid Reade is a veteran of over 30 years in California politics and currently serves as Chief of Staff to California State Senator Jim Nielsen.
A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, David Reade began his career as a volunteer on the Reagan-Bush re-election campaign in 1984. He worked in the office of Republican Governor George Deukmejian, and later as a Legislative Aide for the Assembly Republican Leader.
He served six years as Chief of Staff to the late Republican Assemblyman Bernie Richter (1992-1998) and also for Assemblyman (now Congressman) Doug LaMalfa from 2002-2008. Reade has been a consultant and strategist to more than a hundred successful candidate and issue campaigns at the national, state and local levels.
A lifelong Republican, David Reade was elected Chairman of the Butte County Republican Party from 1994 to 1998.
In 2002, Reade served as Campaign Director for the McClintock for Controller campaign. In 2003, Reade served as Deputy Political Director for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign for governor during the successful recall election. David Reade served as California Political Director for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.
In 2009-10, Reade served as senior advisor and strategist to Doug LaMalfa’s successful election campaign for California State Senate and for his 2012 campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as Finance Director and principal campaign strategist for Assemblyman Jim Nielsen’s successful 2008 and 2010 campaigns, and for his 2013 Special Election to the State Senate. Reade also directed Nielsen’s successful reelection in 2014.
Reade was elected in 2012 to serve as Chairman of the Sacramento Valley Lincoln Club, a Republican donor organization that provides financial support for Republican candidates for federal, state and local office.
In 2014, Reade served as senior strategist for James Gallagher’s successful campaign for State Assembly, District 3.
David Reade has been recognized by the American Association of Political Consultants with eight of its prestigious Pollie Awards, most recently receiving Gold and Silver Awards for Radio Advertising.
David and his wife Suzanne reside in West Sacramento and have two children, Reagan (20) and Matthew (19).
Trailblazer Candidate Justin Mendes Achieves ‘Pathfinder’ StatusCalifornia Trailblazers, a program successfully identifying, training and electing the next generation of Republican legislative leaders, today announced Justin Mendes (AD 32) has achieved ‘Pathfinder’ status, the first level in the program’s three-tier structure. Mendes, the son of Portuguese dairy farmers and a Hanford city councilman, has a track record of bringing jobs to the Valley. “As a longtime Valley resident, community leader and aide to Congressman David Valadao, Justin Mendes is an exceptional candidate who reflects his district’s values,” said Jessica Patterson, CEO of California Trailblazers. “Trailblazers is thrilled to support Mendes as he makes the case for the gas tax repeal, greater job creation and safer communities across Kings and Kern Counties.” As an elected leader in Hanford, Mendes renewed the city’s commitment to public safety by leading the effort to build a new fire station and grow the local police force. Mendes has also continued to fight for greater job creation, bringing trusted employers like Costco into the region. As the son of a third-generation dairy farmer, Mendes understands the value of hard work and the importance of protecting businesses. Mendes has surpassed program benchmarks to earn ‘Pathfinder’ status and has earned an impressive list of local, regional and statewide endorsements. Mendes has raised more than $100,000 without personal loans, identified local volunteers and precinct captains and established a strong website and social media presence. Additionally, as a ‘Pathfinder’ Mendes has attended candidate trainings to learn campaign fundamentals. These elements ensure candidates are effectively prepared for the campaign trail and, furthermore, ready to lead once elected. “With Mendes’ credentials and hard work ethic, Republicans have an opportunity and renewed engagement to take the 32nd Assembly District.,” Patterson said. “We’re excited to support Mendes as he continues to create a clear contrast between failed Democrat policies and a Republican alternative.” Throughout 2018, California Trailblazers will continue to provide ongoing support to Republican legislative candidates. Candidates who seek to enter the second tier of the Trailblazers program—‘Rising Star’ status—must raise more than $250,000 in campaign contributions, create strong media, fundraising, coalition and finance plans, identify a campaign manager and participate in Trailblazers trainings to learn fundamental and sophisticated campaign strategies and tactics.
Trailblazers Candidate Bill Essayli Earns ‘Pathfinder’ StatusFormer Assistant United States Attorney Bill Essayli, candidate for the State Assembly in AD 60, which includes Corona, Norco, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, and portions of the city of Riverside, has earned 'Pathfinder' status from California Trailblazers, a program that has had success supporting Republican candidates in key legislative races. The announcement was made by Trailblazers CEO Jessica Patterson. "Bill is a natural leader with a strong pedigree and record of exemplary service that underscores the type of candidates that California Trailblazers looks for," said Patterson. "Tough on crime and strong on California's economy, he is perfectly positioned to elevate the issue of a $52 billion gas tax, which was imposed on the constituents of the 60th Assembly District and supported by the current incumbent. Bill's unique background and relationships throughout Riverside County make him a tremendous candidate to regain this seat, which is critical to Republicans ending the Democrat Supermajority in the Assembly." Working out of the U.S. Attorney's Riverside Branch Office, Essayli's career has included a bedrock of high-profile cases, including the federal investigation of the deadly December 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack, which led to charges being filed against Enrique Marquez Jr., for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and prosecution of a case involving nearly 29 defendants who participated in a drug trafficking organization that smuggled narcotics from Mexico. Essayli earned a law degree from Chapman University School of Law and volunteered as an attorney coach for the mock trial team for his alma mater, Centennial High School in Corona. Essayli has been heavily engaged in the Trailblazers program, having met the program's benchmarks to earn 'Pathfinder' status, including raising more than $100,000 without personal loans, identifying local volunteers and precinct captains and establishing a website and social media presence. Additionally, Essayli achieved 'Pathfinder' having attended every candidate training to learn to how to run a winning campaign. These elements ensure candidates are effectively prepared for the campaign trail and ready to lead once elected. Throughout 2018, California Trailblazers will continue to provide ongoing support to Republican legislative candidates. Candidates who seek to enter the second tier of the Trailblazers program-'Rising Star' status-must raise more than $250,000 in campaign contributions, have created strong media, fundraising, coalition and finance plans, identified a campaign manager and participated in Trailblazers trainings to learn fundamental and sophisticated campaign strategies and tactics.
Assemblymember James Gallagher
AD 3Elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, Assemblyman James Gallagher is honored to represent the residents of the 3rd Assembly District. The district includes Butte, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn, and Colusa Counties. As a newly elected legislator, James was quickly recognized for his leadership by his selection as Deputy Republican Floor Leader, and he currently serves as the Chief Republican Whip. He also serves as the vice-chair of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee; and is a member of the Assembly Appropriations, Governmental Organization, Agriculture, and Judiciary Committees.
Assemblymember Frank Bigelow
AD 5The first thing you’ll notice about rancher Frank Bigelow is his hat. To Frank’s way of thinking, he wears it as a symbol of respect for the sacrifice of those who settled our region and it serves as a commitment to continue to preserve our way of life. Frank resides in O’Neals, with his wife of 35 years, Barbara. First elected to the State Assembly in 2012, Bigelow is committed to protecting rural California and our rural way of life.
Assemblymember Kevin Kiley
AD 6Before serving as Deputy Attorney General, Kevin Kiley spent years teaching 10th grade English at a South Central Los Angeles high school, devoting himself to education and leading an award-winning speech and debate team. Kiley earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a law degree from Yale, and a master’s in secondary education from Loyola Marymount. Additionally, Kiley has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Assemblymember Catharine Baker
AD 16Catharine Baker was elected to represent the 16th Assembly District on November 4, 2014. She took the oath of office on December 1, 2014. During her first two years in office, Catharine developed a reputation as an independent voice in Sacramento, willing to break from party lines and foster bipartisan relationships between Democrat and Republican members. As the Sacramento Bee reported, Catharine had the most bipartisan record of any Assembly member in the 2015-2016 session. Her bipartisan leadership has also made her one of the most effective members of the Assembly. Nine of her bills — all supporting education, transportation, public safety, and government efficiency — passed the Legislature, and all nine were signed by Governor Brown.
Assemblymember Vince Fong
For nearly a decade, Fong has served as the District Director to House Majority Leader and Congressman Kevin McCarthy, managing public policy issues for the region. In this capacity, Fong has worked to craft policies that encourage business expansion and enhance job opportunities for local residents.
Additionally, Fong is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and a former member of the Kern County Republican Central Committee and Goodwill Industries of Southern Central California. Fong currently serves on the boards of the Jim Burke Education Foundation and Honor Flight Kern County, where he works to send WWII, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans to Washington, DC to see their memorials.
Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham
AD 35Cunningham is a taxpayer advocate, dedicated husband and father, businessman, school board member and former prosecutor. He lives in Templeton with his wife and four children. After earning his bachelor’s and law degrees, Cunningham returned home to the central coast and began work as a Deputy District Attorney for SLO County – prosecuting a wide variety of crimes such as fraud, assault and domestic violence. From public safety and fiscal responsibility to education, Jordan is a proven leader for the community that he has always called home.
Assemblymember Dante Acosta
AD 38Raised in the 38th District by a single mother who taught her five children to work hard, Acosta learned the value of integrity, determination and perseverance. Prior to entering public service, Acosta built a successful career in finance, helping businesses and individuals achieve their financial goals and plan for a secure future. Acosta, a Gold Star Father, has devoted his life to service.
Assemblymember Marc Steinorth
AD 40Marc Steinorth was elected to the California State Legislature in 2014 to represent the 40th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Highland, Loma Linda, and Redlands. Marc is Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, and serves on the Health Committee and the Governmental Organization Committee. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Marc served on the City Council for the City of Rancho Cucamonga. Marc believes as a public servant it is his job to faithfully carry out prudent financial decisions that reflect good stewardship of public monies on behalf of the taxpayers and residents. He recognizes that government must live within its means and that it has a responsibility to justify each tax dollar it spends. Doing so ensures that the necessary and valuable services and functions of government will be readily available for Californians now and in the future.
Assemblymember Chad Mayes
AD 42Chad Mayes was first elected to the Assembly in November 2014 to represent the 42nd District in the California State Assembly. This Inland Empire district encompasses parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. As Republican Leader, Mayes negotiates for his caucus with the Governor and legislative Democrats on major policy and fiscal issues, leads its political and campaign efforts, and is its principal spokesperson. He regularly travels up and down the state meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders, groups and businesses to better understand issues and build consensus for key policies. In his district, Mayes has earned high marks as a consensus builder on issues of regional concern.
Assemblymember Phillip Chen
In addition to running a small business, Chen has also dedicated himself to public service by protecting his community from crime as a former Reserve Sheriff's Deputy, teaching at two universities, and fighting for taxpayers. In 2009, he was recognized by the Walnut/Diamond Bar Sheriff's Station as the "Reserve Deputy of the Year." Appointed to the Governor's Office of Criminal Justice Planning by Pete Wilson, Chen worked on legislation to protect foster children, prevent gang violence, and fight drug abuse.
Chen earned his B.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton and both a Master's in Public Administration and Doctoral of Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California. He also served as an Adjunct Faculty Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.
Assemblymember Steven Choi
AD 68Choi immigrated to the United States as a Peace Corps language instructor for the State Department in 1968 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea. He continued his education in the United States, earning a master’s degree in library science from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a passionate educator and has experience in higher education teaching at universities and colleges around the country. Choi is a dedicated public servant who is The City of Irvine’s current Mayor and has served on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Orange County Sanitation District. He was elected as a Trustee to the Irvine Unified Schools District in 1998, served two terms on the City Council and has been the Mayor of Irvine since 2012.
Assemblymember Brian Maienschein
AD 77Brian Maienschein was elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, winning with a record number of votes. He was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term in 2014. Prior to being elected as an Assemblymember, Brian served eight years on the San Diego City Council. He is most well-known for his outstanding response to the 2003 Cedar Fire and the 2007 Witch Creek Fire. Following both fires, he set up a one-stop shop for disaster victims. The plan he created became a national model for disaster response. Brian also served as San Diego’s first Commissioner on Homelessness. He created a program that received numerous awards, including a Golden Watchdog award from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association for its success in reducing homelessness, while saving millions of taxpayer dollars. In the Assembly, Brian has continued to work to improve California’s education system and to provide students the tools they need to succeed. To help make college more affordable and accessible for California’s hardworking students, he co-authored a measure which would freeze tuition rates at our state universities.
Senator Scott Wilk
SD 21Senator Scott Wilk has a record of public service and community involvement. First elected in 2012 and again in 2014 with more than 65 percent of the vote, Wilk’s legislative accomplishments include co-authoring SB 718 to position California to compete for a $60 billion federal government contract and securing legislative support to increase funding for afterschool programs. Prior to the legislature, Wilk served six years on the College of the Canyons Board of Trustees and six years as Chief of Staff to California Assembly Members Tom McClintock and Paula Boland.
Senator Jeff Stone
SD 28First elected in 2014, Senator Jeff Stone practices the philosophy of a fiscally responsible and efficient government that is less intrusive and more productive for its citizens. He represents Riverside County and has made public safety a top priority as its state senator. Senator Stone remains a tireless advocate for taxpayers and consistently is a voice for them on the Senate floor.
Senator Janet Nguyen
SD 34Senator Nguyen has set many firsts in state and national politics. She is the first Vietnamese-American in the country to be elected to a state’s legislative Senate house, and she is the highest-ranking Vietnamese-American elected official in the United States. Prior to the California State Senate, Senator Nguyen served at the Orange County Board of Supervisors from February 2007 to December 2014. Senator Nguyen was the first female Supervisor to represent the First Supervisorial District, the first Asian-American and the first Vietnamese-American to serve on the Board of Supervisors, as well as the youngest Supervisor elected in Orange County history. In 2009, Senator Nguyen served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors, and she was Chair of the Board in 2010. Senator Nguyen previously served on the Garden Grove City Council where she was the first female Council Member elected in nearly 35 years and the youngest member ever elected. She is also the former Vice-President of Government and Public Affairs for the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.
Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates
SD 36I am honored to serve as the Senator for the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature since December 1, 2014, representing nearly 1 million people from Encinitas in San Diego County to Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County. Elected public service was not something I sought growing up. It came gradually when I became a wife, mother, and community volunteer. My professional background is one of a Los Angeles County social worker, a position in which I helped people deal with some tough challenges in their personal lives. In the Senate, my focus is to solve everyday problems for Californians in a way that will preserve our quality of life, protect taxpayers, and restore fiscal common sense to government. That is what I did as the driving force behind Laguna Niguel’s campaign for cityhood and when I became its first mayor upon the city’s incorporation in 1989. I served four terms as mayor and then continued serving as a city council member until my election to the State Assembly in 1998, earning the trust of a large majority of Orange and San Diego County voters.
ALL-STARS & PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
Senator Jim Nielsen
SD 4A successful farmer and rancher, Senator Jim Nielsen grew up on a small farm in the San Joaquin Valley and graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Business. After college, Jim worked as a ranch foreman and operated the family cattle, field and row-crop ranch. Elected to the State Senate in January 2013, Senator Nielsen proudly represents the citizens of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties. He serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Vice Chair of the Senate Budget & Fiscal Review. He serves as a member of the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Health. Nielsen was originally elected to the State Senate in 1978 and served as Republican Leader from 1983 to 1987. In 1990, he was appointed chairman of the California Board of Prison Terms, where he served until 2007. He was elected in November 2008 to represent the North State's 2nd Assembly District in the State Legislature.
Assemblymember Heath Flora
AD 12Heath Flora is a farmer, firefighter and business owner with the kind of real world experience desperately needed in the State Assembly. He was raised on a farm and had been a small business owner and volunteer firefighter for 15 years. A life-long farmer, Heath serves as a Director for International Sales at the Exact Corporation, a family-owned business that manufactures innovative products for both nut harvesting and forcible entry equipment for firefighting. Heath also owns Golden Valley Equipment which sells used agricultural equipment. Prior to entering the business world, Heath received training as a paramedic and worked for Cal Fire for three summers.
Assemblymember Tom Lackey
AD 36First elected to the State Assembly in 2014, Tom Lackey has been focused on providing common sense solutions to some of California’s most challenging issues. He has been a leader on providing strong public safety policies, and has been an advocate for affordable taxes, education improvements and job growth through private sector economic development. During his short time as a State Legislator, Lackey has championed successful efforts to combat the growing problem of drugged driving and provide increased state funding to support programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. After high school, Lackey served his church as a missionary for two years. Upon returning, he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in special education from Utah State University, and later was an elementary special education teacher. He later went on to have a 28-year career with the California Highway Patrol, retiring in 2013. Lackey first entered elected public service as a member of the Palmdale Elementary School District Board of Trustees. He went on to serve two terms as a councilmember for City of Palmdale from 2005 to 2014.
Assemblymember Melissa Melendez
AD 67Melissa entered the United States Navy upon graduating high school. She attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, where she became a fluent Russian language speaker. Melissa then became one of the first women approved by the U.S. Navy to fly aboard EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft overseas, conducting reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations in partnership with our allies. She served her country with honor and distinction as a Russian translator for ten years during the height of the Cold War, and flew covert missions during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 2008 Melissa Melendez was elected to the Lake Elsinore City Council. She served as Mayor Pro Tem as well as Mayor during her four years in local government. Melissa has distinguished herself throughout the district by tackling some of the most important issues of the day, like fighting for increased government transparency, reducing taxes, and easing the burden on the business community. Melissa is also known to be a tireless advocate for veterans and military families.
Assemblymember Travis Allen
AD 72Assemblyman Travis Allen was first elected to the State Assembly in November of 2012 to represent the 72nd Assembly District, which includes the cities of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Westminster, Los Alamitos and the unincorporated community of Rossmoor. As a member of the Assembly, Assemblyman Allen's priority is to expand the California economy through policies that create economic growth. Assemblyman Allen plans to initiate programs that will expand California’s international trade and maintain California’s place as the 8th largest economy in the world. He is specifically concentrating on the high tech industry and creating opportunities for continued market expansion. Assemblyman Allen is actively working to build the framework for increased international joint ventures and economic cooperation.
Assemblymember Bill Brough
AD 73Bill Brough was elected to the California State Assembly on November 4, 2014. Bill serves as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Business and Professions and Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. He also sits on the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, the Assembly Committee on Rules, and the Assembly Select Committee on Ports. Mr. Brough is a member of the Republican leadership serving as the Deputy Floor Leader. Mr. Brough is the founder and Co-Chair of the California Legislative Irish Caucus, a 501c7 created to foster the cultural, political and economic ties between California and Ireland.