Thursday, March 15th, 2007 at 6:08 pm in Uncategorized.
Thronged by a crowd of supporters gathered at the Benjamin Franklin hotel in San Mateo Thursday, Jerry Hill made his long-known-about run for the 19th Assembly District seat officially official.
“I’m running for this job because I want to take my abilities to build consensus, forge coalitions, and find common-sense solutions to the issues facing our communities and apply them to the problems in Sacramento,” said Hill, who has been a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors since 1998 and is a former San Mateo councilman.
Though he just defected from the Republican Party in 2003 (after reportedly being fed up with the gubernatorial recall election), the platform Hill outlined Thursday was unquestionably Democratic: education, universal health care, a living wage, a clean environment, renewable energy, preservation of natural resources, affordable housing and investment in technology.
“Every Californian must have access to quality medical care and the protection of universal health care,” Hill said.
Missing was any mention of corrections reform, one the most significant issues that Hill is facing as a supervisor, as the county’s jails are sorely overcrowded. Reformation of the prison system is likely to continue to be a landmark issue for the state legislature as well.
Hill was sure to draw attention to his recent appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to represent the Bay Area on the California Air Resources Board, which helps set and enforce air pollution rules and regulations for the state and will also help implement the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Hill also compared himself to his lawmaking predecessors who all got the same start in local politics that he did.
“I can continue the work of the dedicated leaders I respect so much who have served in this seat – leaders like Quentin Kopp, Jackie Speier, and our current Assemblyman Gene Mullin, who have all built upon their previous experience as local elected officials and gone to Sacramento with real experience at solving problems,” Hill said. “I will take my real experience to Sacramento.”
The latter point no doubt was aimed to differentiate himself from his Democratic opponent, Richard Holober, whose elected political experience consists of serving on the board of trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District and the Millbrae School District. Holober has been the executive director of the Consumer Federation of California since 2001. He has made a splash lately by funneling $168,000 of his own money into his campaign coffers and garnering endorsements from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and powerful unions like the California Nurses Association, for whom he was once a legislative advocate.
They are vying to replace Mullin, D-South San Francisco, who will be termed out of the Assembly in 2008.
UPDATE: Hill, we should note, was introduced to the crowd at the event by Joe Cotchett. The attorney, of Burlingame-based Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, is the lead trial lawyer in the civil lawsuit filed by ex-CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV, against Vice President Dick Cheney, his former chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, presidential adviser Karl Rove and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage.
The Wilsons are suing over the allegedly “intentional and malicious exposure” by senior Bush administration officials of Plame’s identity as a CIA agent in retaliation for her husband’s criticism of the administration’s case for war with Iraq.