California Trailblazers, a program with a track record of successfully identifying, recruiting and training the next generation of Republican leaders, today announced three candidates are now Trailblazers, the program’s third tier and highest rank, including California State Assembly Members Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Ling Ling Chang (R- Diamond Bar) and candidate Steve Fazio, who are all seeking election to the California State Senate this November. These candidates are the first to earn ‘Trailblazer’ status in the 2016 election cycle.
“We are very proud to announce and recognize the hard work these successful candidates continue to achieve on the campaign trail,” said Trailblazers CEO Jessica Patterson. “Through their dedication to running winning campaigns these candidates are well on their way to victory come November.”
To become ‘Trailblazers,’ candidates must meet rigorous campaign metrics established by the program. ‘Trailblazers’ have raised more than $400,000, without loans or personal funds, and identified a clear path to victory in their districts. In addition, these candidates have also created and are executing strong media, fundraising, social media, coalition, finance and Get Out The Vote plans, and participated in Trailblazers trainings to learn sophisticated campaign strategies and tactics.
Assemblyman Scott Wilk – Candidate for SD-21
Assemblyman 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 for aerospace manufacturing and efforts to secure legislative support to increase afterschool program funding. 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.
Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang – Candidate for SD-29
Assemblywoman Chang is currently serving constituents in the 55th Assembly District as a member of the state legislature. She’s demonstrated her commitment and passion to education through 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.
Steve Fazio – Candidate for SD-27
Fazio 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, he was appointed to serve on the Los Angeles City Fire Commission under two mayors. Fazio 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.
“The California State Senate will benefit greatly from these candidates’ experiences as public servants, who know how to identify creative solutions to solve complex problems and will get meaningful things done in Sacramento to improve the quality of life for their constituents and all Californians,” concluded Patterson.
Throughout 2016, California Trailblazers will continue to provide ongoing support to Republican legislative candidates, becoming mentors to others.