Phillip Chen and Vince Fong collectively raise more than half a million dollars; exceed individual campaign benchmarks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Trailblazers, the only program in the state committed to identifying, recruiting and training the next generation of Republican leaders, today announced its board of directors classified Phillip Chen (AD 55) and Vince Fong (AD 34) as ‘Rising Stars,’ a designation given to candidates who have individually raised more than $250,000 in campaign contributions, without loans or personal money.

“Phillip Chen and Vince Fong have received impressive endorsements and campaign contributions from supporters across California. Their campaigns stand out as a shining examples of what hard work and perseverance can earn, especially in this election cycle. Both candidates reflect the strong resolve needed to win in November and possess the values needed to champion conservative principles in the state legislature,” said Trailblazers CEO Jessica Patterson.

To achieve ‘Rising Star’ status, the second tier of the Trailblazers program, candidates must also have completed rigorous communications and campaign management trainings, as well as built the infrastructure for coalitions and surrogate programs within the campaign, while continuing to build a strong grassroots and online presence.

Contributing to the California economy as a small business owner, Chen is also a dedicated public servant with many years of service to his community. Chen has worked to preserve and protect Walnut Grove residents having spent time as a Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy, and ensured a strong education for children in the community as a Walnut Valley Unified School District Trustee. During his tenure as a Trustee, Chen turned the district’s budget deficit into a budget surplus through establishing a ‘rainy-day’ fund. In addition to being a champion for his community, Chen worked on statewide legislation to protect foster children, prevent gang violence and fight drug abuse as an appointee to the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning under Governor Pete Wilson. As an Assemblyman, Chen will bring his conservative fiscal values and public safety experience to Sacramento to benefit constituents and Californians.

Born and raised in Bakersfield, Fong has a long commitment of service to Kern County and the Central Valley. Fong began his career working on international trade policy to open up markets for local farmers, ranchers, and small business owners. Returning home and working for U.S. Congressman and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-23), Fong’s career in public service has given him a deep understanding of public policy and what needs to be done in California to ensure taxpayer dollars are put to proper use. Active in the community, he serves on local boards to foster educational opportunities and to support veterans. As an assembly member, Fong will fight to protect California taxpayers and to improve our state’s business climate so our communities can prosper.

California Trailblazers will continue to provide ongoing support to Republican legislative candidates as the November election approaches. Candidates who seek to enter the third tier – Trailblazer – must raise more than $400,000 without personal loans, develop a comprehensive media strategy, identify surrogates and continue to grow their volunteer coalition.