“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 2014 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.
“I appreciate the efforts of the California Trailblazers Board of Directors and Republican legislative leaders to invest their time and expertise to support candidates and future Republican leaders. The trainings have energized my efforts and provided me with tips and techniques to better communicate with voters and run an aggressive and successful campaign.”
– Assemblywoman Young Kim
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 the State. Randle has more than two decades of political, media and communications expertise.
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.
has been at the forefront of campaign activities to elect quality Republicans to office for more than two decades. He also serves as a board member of New Majority Los Angeles.
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.
also serves as a member of the New Majority, he is a founding member of the Hispanic 100 and serves as the organization’s Chairman.
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.
currently serves as the Political Director for the Assembly Republican Caucus. He has worked in various roles during his 15 year tenure in the Capitol.
MIKE ZIMMERMANMike Zimmerman currently serves as the political director for the Assembly Republican Caucus. Zimmerman has worked in various capacities in the Assembly and Senate during his 15 year tenure in the capitol community. Most notably, he served as chief of staff to Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick, where he assisted the leader in the creation and completion of policy, fiscal and political goals and served as a chief advisor in "Big 5" state budget negotiations. On the political side, Zimmerman has worked as a manager or deputy manager on several campaigns across the state including the 2002 Jeff Denham state Senate race. As a senior account manager for MB Public Affairs, Zimmerman helped to elect federal, state and local candidates in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, Iowa, Louisiana and Ohio. Since his return to the Assembly, Zimmerman has continued to consult candidate and ballot measure campaigns on ground game operations, candidate research/vulnerability and voter registration programs.
Lydia was the first woman officer at the Chevron Corporation and currently is the Senior of Counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. She has had an extraordinary career which includes being named an appointee of Governor Pete Wilson at the Fair Employment & Housing Commission and was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Presidio Trust in San Francisco.
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.
David Reade is a veteran of over 30 years in California politics and currently serves as Chief of Staff to California State Senator Jim Nielsen. 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).
Pathfinder candidates have received more than $100,000 in donations for their respective campaigns, identified local volunteers and precinct captains and established a website and social media presence.
AD 12Vogel served in the United States Army Reserve for over thirty years. Vogel is a walnut and cherry farmer and a member of the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau. Ken was a teacher and administrator for Lodi Unified School District and served the community of San Joaquin County as a member of the Board of Supervisors for two terms.
AD 31Olivier has a record of public service, having worked as an air support radioman for four years in the United States Marine Reserves. Olivier currently serves the Fresno community as a member of the city council, representing the Seventh District and working hard to protect taxpayers. Before his time in local public service, Olivier worked as a reporter and anchor for several Fresno news stations.
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.
AD 48Ellenson is a member of the Glendora School Board and runs a small business called Ellenson Legal and Financial Services. He has experience with the United States Department of the Treasury as a General Attorney and has taught as an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science from USC Leventhal School of Accounting and received his Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in tax law. Ellenson is very involved in the community and is the Treasurer for both the Kiwanis Club of Glendora and the Glendora Friends of Rotary. Additionally, he is a member of the Glendora Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action Committee and a member of the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association.
AD 57Topalian was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1951. After high school she started several successful businesses. She earned a degree in political science from CSU, Los Angeles while raising three children and managing a business. She then went on to attain her Juris Doctorate in 1988 from Western State College, University of Law. Her experience in the community includes ten years as a Board Member for the Whittier Bar Association, in addition to being past president. While practicing law, Rita worked with Senator Bob Margett’s (retired) field representative and point person on women’s issues, where she established and coordinated yearly Women’s Conferences.
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.
Rising Stars have raised at least $250,000 in campaign contributions, without loans or personal money. In addition, Rising Stars have created strong media, fundraising, coalition and finance plans, identified a campaign manager and participated in Trailblazers trainings.
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.
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.
Trailblazer is the highest designation in the three-tier program. Trailblazers have raised more than $400,000, without loans or personal funds, and demonstrated a clear path to victory in their districts. Trailblazers have also created and executed strong media, fundraising, coalition and finance plans, identified a campaign manager and participated in Trailblazers trainings.
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.
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.
Assemblyman Scott Wilk
SD 21Assemblyman 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.
SD 27Steve has spent the last 35 years building a team and expanding his family’s business, Fazio Cleaners. A lifelong advocate of public safety, Fazio retired as a reserve police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department after 30 years with the force. Following his retirement, Steve was appointed to serve on the Los Angeles City Fire Commission under two Mayors. Steve has served as both an “Executive in Residence” and an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University, and was the Founding President of Sierra Canyon School, which now educates nearly 1,000 students each year and has one of the most diverse student bodies of any independent school in California.
Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang
SD 29Chang is currently serving constituents in the 55th Assembly District as a member of the state legislature. She’s demonstrated her commitment and passion by authoring significant policy to support the expansion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Prior to her service in the legislature, Chang was the Mayor of Diamond Bar and President and CEO of the Youth Science Center, a non-profit organization that focuses on improving youth’s education in STEM.