Last summer, I was encouraged to run for State Senate District 5. Extensive polling showed I could beat the incumbent Democrat. Since then, I have weighed the pros and cons of running and explored whether I can raise the resources necessary to win. After dozens of meetings, I am convinced that the funding and support needed to win exist. Nevertheless, after much reflection, I have decided not to run.
This was a very difficult decision. SD 5 is a winnable Republican seat. In fact, it is a more “Republican seat” than at least four of the seats Republicans currently hold in the Legislature. Were my decision based solely on the ability to win, there is no doubt that I would be a candidate. The biggest factor in my decision, however, was my family.
For the past five years, my family has been extraordinarily supportive of my desire to serve in the Legislature. This was especially true over the past year-and-a-half, when I traveled extensively around the State as Assembly Republican Leader. Next year, our three children will be in high school, middle school and elementary school. In addition to their schooling, they are involved in numerous extra-curricular activities. Simply put, I want to be more active in their daily lives.
To me, public service is more than a job – it is a vocation. Those who know me understand the time and energy I devote to it. I love representing my community, seeking solutions, crafting legislation, and resolving problems my constituents have with public agencies. This work is challenging and immensely rewarding, as was serving as the Assembly Minority Leader. My passion for this work remains as strong as ever, but the time needed to simultaneously serve my constituents and run a very intense campaign would not allow me the ability to adequately focus on my family as is needed right now.
I truly thank those who encouraged me to run for their kind words, support, and generosity. It was, and is, humbling. I anticipate that I will return to public service when the time is right.
With the decision made, it’s time to move on. There is much work to be done to improve California and better the lives of its 38 million residents. Under California’s term limits law, 2016 is my last year in the Assembly, and I intend to make the most of every minute.
I urge my constituents and supporters to remain engaged and active, recalling the words of Margaret Mead who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
May God richly bless our state and nation in the coming year!