SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Trailblazers today announced that Assembly candidate Phil Graham has advanced to ‘Pathfinder’ status, the first level in the program’s three-tier structure. The Trailblazers program helps candidates strengthen their campaigns by providing resources, training opportunities and practical skills so they are equipped to build and run successful campaigns.

A San Diego native, Graham enjoys deep roots in Assembly District 76, which includes Encinitas, Carlsbad, Vista, Oceanside and Camp Pendleton, and is currently represented by Assemblyman Rocky Chávez. As an experienced businessman Graham helped create and fund medical research for cancer as an executive at La Jolla-based Sanford-Burnham Institute, as well as efforts directed to support the wounded warriors. He has volunteered for several local causes including the Founders Circle Board of the Preuss School at UC San Diego and the Encinitas American Legion. Graham is a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business with a Master of Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

“Phil has exceptional local roots in San Diego and will bring a common sense approach to Sacramento, while also fighting for hard-working families and our state’s job creators,” said Jessica Patterson, CEO of California Trailblazers. “Phil has established himself as a tremendous candidate early on given his impressive fundraising, grassroots support and strong campaign plan.”

With endorsements from prominent Republican leaders and organizations, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the San Diego County Republican Party, Graham is well positioned to run a winning campaign in AD 76. Graham’s priorities include advocating for more parental choice in education, encouraging advancements in technical education to better prepare young adults for the workforce and supporting lower taxes, the preservation of Proposition 13 and emerging ways to grow California’s economy.

California Trailblazers distinguishes candidates as ‘Pathfinders’ when they have achieved certain campaign benchmarks, including having raised more than $100,000 in campaign contributions, identified local volunteers and precinct captains and created a substantial online presence through a dynamic website and active social media effort.

During the 2018 election cycle, California Trailblazers leadership will continue to support Republican candidates by offering practical training opportunities and policy, communications and fundraising resources. To achieve ‘Rising Star’ status, the next step in the program, candidates 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.

Trailblazers expects to announce the first round of ‘Rising Star’ candidates in the next few weeks.