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Special election

Assembly race for Gaines’ old seat gets quickly crowded

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The opening for the District 4 Assembly seat vacated by now-state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, has resulted in a flurry of candidate activity. Seven candidates or prospective candidates have already stepped up for an election that will be an initial test of new procedures adopted by California voters last June. Under Proposition 14, all candidates – Republican, Democratic, Green, Libertarian or any other party – will be vying for the same votes in a primary special election. If no candidate gains a majority of the vote, the top two – regardless of political affiliation – will move on to a runoff. The initial election is set for March 8 and the runoff would occur May 3. The candidate filing period opened Tuesday and closes Jan. 24. The candidates or prospective candidates are: Matt Williams, Michael Babich, Beth Gaines, Dennis Campanale, Keith Nesbitt, John Allard and Cheryl Bly-Chester. All but Nesbitt have confirmed they plan to run for the Assembly. All candidates had submitted answers to several questions by deadline: Matt Williams Age: 57 Born: San Francisco Education: Bachelor of Science, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Master of Public Administration, Seattle University Institute of Public Service; Law degree, University of Washington School of Law Elected offices: None Political affiliation: Republican for 39 years Organizations/Volunteer work: Coast Guard Auxiliary; Tahoe Youth and Family Services board, Boy Scouts of America; Sea Scouts of America; Masons, Scottish Rite, Association of Trial Lawyers of America Lives in: South Lake Tahoe for 21 years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: Yes Current job: Attorney Previous jobs: Officer, U.S. Coast Guard; director, Naval Junior ROTC at Phoenix and South Lake Tahoe high schools; director of Sylvan Learning Center Marital status: Divorced, four adult children Major supporters/endorsements: None. “No major sponsors or endorsements. Just trying to remain independent and untainted.” Michael Babich Age: 55 Birthplace: Detroit, Mich. Education: Doctorate in Biomedical Sciences, Department of Medicine, University of Kentucky Elected offices: None Political affiliation: Republican, lifelong Organizations/Volunteer work: American Legion, various medical and scientific organizations Lives in: Auburn resident for 10 years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: Yes. Mission Therapeutics Current job: Vice-president of Mission Therapeutics cancer treatments and diagnostic development Previous jobs: Colonel, U.S. Army Reserves; University of Illinois professor Marital status: Married, two adult children Major supporters/endorsements: “Several associated with various sectors such as military veterans, environment and education reform Beth Gaines Age: 51 Born: Sacramento, Calif. Education: Attended University of California, Irvine for two years but didn’t graduate Elected offices: No Political affiliation: Lifelong Republican Organizations/Volunteer work: Republican Women Federated, Child Abuse Prevention Council, Mothers of Preschoolers, Acres of Hope, Sunday school teacher Lives in: Roseville resident for 18 years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: Family insurance business Current job: Marketing consultant for Point West Insurance Previous jobs: Sales and marketing for a medical supply company, management of a national workforce employment firm Marital status: Married with six children ranging in age from 8 to 22 Major supporters/endorsements: Sen. Tony Strickland, Assemblyman Jim Silva, El Dorado District Attorney Vern Pierson, Center Unified School Board Trustee Donald Wilson Dennis Campanale Age: 58 Born: Belleville, Ill. Education: American River College, Sacramento State, CSUS Long Beach, Wharton School of Finance. Campanale had not responded to a Journal inquiry by press time whether he had earned a degree and, if so, from what institution. Elected offices: No Political affiliation: Lifelong Democratic Party Organizations/Volunteer work: Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 director, California Association of Professional Firefighters director, International Association of Professional Firefighters, AFL-CIO, Sacramento Burn Center Foundation, Lives in: Placer County for 20 years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: No Current job: Retired Previous jobs: Division Chief for West Sacramento Fire Department; Cal Fire San Andreas, Arcade Fire Department, Jackson Rancheria Fire Department Marital status: Married, with three children Major supporters/endorsements: California Firefighters John Allard Age: 53 Born: Turlock, Calif. Education: CSU Sacramento, bachelor degrees in political science and history. Elected offices: Roseville City Councilman since 2003 Political affiliation: Lifelong Republican Organizations/Volunteer work: Roseville Community Health Foundation board, Sutter Health Placer County Community Advisory Board, Roseville Chamber of Commerce board, Acres of Hope board, the Gathering Inn, Sacramento Valley Lincoln Club, South Placer Transportation Management Association, Rotary Club of Roseville Lives in: Roseville for 23 years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: Molly Maid of Placer County Current job: Small business owner and Roseville City Councilman Previous jobs: Chief of Staff for Sen. Tim Leslie, Marital status: Married, three children Major supporters/endorsements: National Tax Limitation Committee President Lew Uhler, Rocklin Chamber of Commerce President Dave Butler, Roseville Chamber of Commerce President Al Johnson, former Assemblymen Dan Logue and Rick Keene, former Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen Keith Nesbitt Age. 54 Born: Riverside, Calif. Education: “Santa Rosa Community College, Diablo Valley College, College of Marin, Golden West College.” By press time, Nesbitt had not responded to a question of whether he held a degree from any of those institutions. Elected offices: Auburn City Council Political affiliation: Republican 2½ years Organizations/Volunteer work: Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Capital Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Auburn Economic Development Commission, Auburn Planning Commission, Gold Country Rotary, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Auburn Chamber of Commerce board, Mechanics Institute of America, International Congress of Building Officials, AMGEN Tour of California Auburn LOC executive committee, Streetscape History and Art Advisory Committee Lives in: Auburn for 20-plus years Home ownership: Yes Business ownership: No Current job: Auburn City Councilman Previous jobs: Owner of Pacific States Mortgage, real estate sales and finance; Nesbitt Enterprises architect and developer consultant; 20 years in engineering support services, technical services and design Marital status: Widowed. Son is a junior at Placer High School Major supporters/endorsements: “To be announced” Cheryl Bly-Chester Age: 53 Born: San Francisco, Calif. Education: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, U.C. Davis; MBA and Master of International Management, Graduate School of Global Management, Arizona Elected offices: Placer County Republican Central Committee Political affiliation: Lifelong Republican Organizations/Volunteer work: Placer County Parks Commission, Society of American Military Engineers, National Ski Patrol, Girl Scouts of America, American Society of Civil Engineers, Engineers Without Borders Lives in: Unincorporated Placer County near Roseville for 20 years Home ownership: Yes Business owner: Yes Current job: Rosewood Environmental Engineering principal engineer/owner Previous jobs: 35-year engineering career in water resources, transportation, energy and hazardous waste remediation fields Marital status: Single-mother, three children Major supporters/endorsements: Supporters will be named when candidacy is officially announced Note: Order of appearance of candidates in this story was selected in a random drawing.