With all of Solano County now in Assembly District 11, two of the county’s residents will battle it out for the seat, including current Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson, D-Suisun City, and newcomer Jenny Callison, an independent from Vacaville.
Running unopposed besides one write-in-candidate, Wilson handily won the Assembly race in this spring’s special election to serve out former Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s seat after he retired last December. The new seat, which begins in December, however, is in the newly redrawn district, including all of Solano, parts of Sacramento and East Contra Costa counties. The primary for that election is June 7, and the general election is Nov. 8.
Callison, though, could not run in the spring’s special election because she lived in an area outside the district, but when the lines were redrawn, she was eligible.
A native of Winters, Callison, 37, joined the U.S. Army in 2002 and was stationed in South Korea and Texas, according to her website. She did not return calls or messages asking for additional information.
A consultant with the California State Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Callison, on her website statement, said she values education, sports and extracurricular activities, and has coached Junior Giants since 2011.
Callison, the mother of a 1-year-old, said part of the reason she wanted to run was the current state of politics in California, citing on her Facebook campaign page her belief in vaccine and mask choice and supporting a friendlier environment for small businesses.
“Julia (her daughter) inspires me to create a better California, one in which she does not have to fight for water security, affordable housing, fulfilling employment, and to preserve her Constitutional rights,” she said in a campaign statement on her website.
It is unclear who were financial supporters at publication time as Callison did not yet submit campaign finance documents.
Wilson meanwhile has raised at least $209,275, with top donations coming from Govern for California Courage Committee, Robert Rivas for Assembly 2022, California State Council of Service Employees, Los Angeles Police Protective League Pac, Employees of (Regina) Yin McDonald’s, all at $9,800 each; and the California State Council of Service Employees Small Contributor Committee and the California Teachers Association/Association for Better Citizenship Small Contributor Committee, both at $9,700.
As a former mayor of Suisun City, Wilson said she has already worked regionally with the Association of Bay Area Governments on issues concerning Solano County. New to her district in December will be the nearby communities of Dixon, Vallejo and Benicia. Oakley and some unincorporated areas of Discovery Bay and Byron are also included.
Wilson currently sits on Assembly committees that include accountability and administrative review, agriculture, appropriations, banking and finance, and privacy and consumer protection.
Wilson said her top three priorities include opportunities in housing, mental health and quality of life.
“We have to deal with the housing crisis that we have in terms of inventory production, things of that nature,” she said.
Wilson said she supports measures that allow for higher densities around transit corridors and state intervention to accelerate the review and approval of housing developments.
“Secondly, with mental health, I think it’s really important to have access to quality health care, but in particular, prioritizing mental health and wellness programs.”
With the new district agriculture and water issues are at the forefront as well, Wilson said, noting Solano County is 62% agriculture and open space.
“So, for me, it’s really about how do we protect the Delta and then recognize that infrastructure is needed within the Delta, because if we were to have an earthquake, we would see a decimation,” Wilson said.
“The Delta is a key water supply for the entire state, so we want to be sure that we’re doing right by it, but not at the cost of those that live in the district, not only the environment around it, where you get animals and wildlife and the ecosystem, but the people within Northern California and AD 11 who depend on the Delta for their livelihood,” she said.
As for quality of life, she said she measures her success as a leader by looking at how residents’ quality of life has improved during her tenure.
“It really centers around my core belief that you know, every person has a right to a high quality of life, and they have a right to define it for themselves,” she said. “And my job as a leader is to help facilitate that. That’s what I should be doing. And so that drives my core political beliefs. So no matter what topic I’m dealing with, it’s through that lens.”
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