Tim Donnelly aids woman choking on food

Assemblyman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly rushed to the aid of a woman who was choking, performing the Heimlich maneuver to help her dislodge the obstruction and breathe easy.

The video was uploaded Thursday; Donnelly campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns wasn’t immediately available for comment on where and when it was shot.

While not ensuring this woman’s health, Donnelly was busy Thursday jabbing at Gov. Jerry Brown for California’s unemployment rate and the health insurance cancellation notices some have received as the nation’s new insurance law is implemented.

“This is a system that was pushed by the Democrat Party, supported by the Governor, and signed into law by Jerry Brown himself,” Donnelly said in a news release. “With one million Californians set to lose their health insurance, the question now is, ‘What will Jerry Brown do to protect Californians’ right to choose their healthcare plan?’”

Health insurers are discontinuing individual-market policies that don’t meet the standards set forth in the nation’s new law. Those receiving such notices are being offered new policies by their insurers, but also can go to the Covered California website to shop around for the best deal and to determine whether they’re eligible for subsidies.

UPDATE @ 5:18 P.M.: Donnelly just replied to my tweet with some info about the woman in the video.
Donnelly tweet

UPDATE @ 5:43 P.M.: Kerns says the video was shot last Friday, Nov. 8, at the California Federation of Republican Women Southern Division’s convention in Ontario, Calif., where Donnelly keynoted a dinner. She didn’t upload the video until Thursday because she wanted to get permission from the woman – Adrienna Schabert, 50, of West Sacramento.

Kerns said Schabert was at the convention staffing a sales table for Damsel in Defense, which offers tastefully decorated stun guns, pepper spray and other self-defense items and accessories.

UPDATE @ 5:59 P.M.: Schabert said she began choking while Donnelly was talking to women at the table behind her. “All I could think about was my two boys” – her youngest, 16, is disabled, and her older son is graduating high school, she said. “I was really that scared, I thought I wasn’t going to be here.”

As she stood up and gestured that she needed help, “Mr. Donnelly just grabbed me and boom, did the Heimlich maneuver, and that piece of dinner roll just popped right out,” she said. “He was so calm, his whole demeanor – he didn’t panic, he just reacted.”

Schabert said she’s considering volunteering for Donnelly’s campaign.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.