Saturday, 25 May 2024

Chesbro to run for First District Assembly seat

LAKE COUNTY – Former state Sen. Wes Chesbro announced plans Friday to run for Patty Berg's First District Assembly seat. {sidebar id=58}

Berg, who will be termed out this year, offered her support to Chesbro's candidacy at a press conference held at the Humboldt County Democratic Party headquarters in Eureka on Friday morning.

The defeat earlier this week of Proposition 93 meant that Berg cannot seek reelection, which opens the door for Chesbro.

“I was supportive of Proposition 93, in large part because I was hoping Patty Berg could run for reelection,” Chesbro told Lake County News Friday afternoon.

But with no change to term limits, Chesbro said he's seeking the Assembly with Berg's “blessing and support.”

Berg said she's worked with Chesbro on many local issues and added he will do an excellent job representing the people of the North Coast. Chesbro, in turn, said he respected Berg and was grateful for her support.

A Humboldt State graduate, Chesbro founded the area’s first recycling center in 1971, was elected to the Arcata City Council in 1974 and served as Humboldt County Supervisor from 1980 to 1991.

Chesbro spent eight years in the state Senate for the Second District before he was termed out in 2006 and succeeded by Sen. Patricia Wiggins.

Since then he was appointed to two state boards: the Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission, created by Proposition 63; and the Integrated Waste Management Board, which regulates solid waste facilities.

The appointments have required that Chesbro spend about half his time in Sacramento, but he said he's nevertheless has more time at home with family.

Chesbro said he's calling his Assembly campaign “First District First,” to highlight his commitment to put the needs of First Assembly District residents ahead of all else.

The North Coast, Chesbro added, “is in for challenging times,” and he said he believes his experience is needed in the Assembly.

“The single biggest challenge we face right now is the continuing and growing budget deficit,” said Chesbro, who in the Senate chaired the Budget Committee.

The “urban powers” tend to gang up on rural communities, who tend to suffer most when it's time for cuts, said Chesbro.

His three areas of greatest concern – which he said are the same as those he had while in the Senate – are environmental protection, health care and education.

Chesbro said he plans to file the paperwork to run for the Assembly on Feb. 11, the first day of filing.

He'll appear on the primary ballot in June and, if he doesn't win by 51 percent or more, Chesbro will go before voters for a final November decision.

If elected, term limits will allow Chesbro to serve three, two-year Assembly terms.

Wanda Harris, chair of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee, said Chesbro has strong support among the county's Democrats.

Harris said Chesbro attended the local Democrats' holiday gathering, and she pledged to help raise funds for his campaign.

“I have no doubt that he can win,” she said Friday evening. “He's got a great record.”

Congressman Mike Thompson also offered his endorsement of Chesbro's First District candidacy, as did North Coast state Sen. Patricia Wiggins; District 3 Supervisor Denise Rushing; District 4 Supervisor Anthony Farrington; District 1 supervisorial candidate Susanne La Faver and her husband, Lyle; former Lake County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cornelison; and the South Lake County Democratic Club, among many others.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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