Two candidates are on the June 3 ballot in the state’s 11th Assembly District race: incumbent Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, and challenger Alex Henthorn, R-Vacaville.
The district includes Fairfield, Suisun City, Vacaville and Rio Vista in Solano County; a sizable chunk of Contra Costa County; and a sliver of Sacramento County.
Since its creation after the 2010 census, the 11th District has tilted left in terms of voter registration. The district remains strongly Democratic, but remains shy of a clear majority. Voter registration in the 11th District as of the end of 2013 was 47.3 percent Democrat and 26.6 percent Republican. A whopping 21.5 percent declined to state a party preference, and 4.6 percent claimed some other party affiliation.
That means there’s ample room for political moderation for anyone who serves the district.
We supported Frazier when he sought the new 11th District seat in 2012. At the time, we believed him to be a fresh voice with a fresh perspective – a businessman first, rather than a seasoned politician seeking to feather his nest, someone who understood the challenges faced by small-business owners, someone, as we said, who was not in the hip pocket of party leadership from Day 1.
Frazier has proven himself, for the most part, to be that man.
He has the financial backing of a wide range of professional and trade unions, but voted against each gun-control measure in the Legislature during his freshman term in office.
He recently co-authored a noxious, nonbinding resolution written at the behest of various public employee unions. Should it become law, it would block outsourcing of public services to save money. Yet, he scored exceptionally low on the Sierra Club’s annual ranking of state legislators.
He opposes Gov. Jerry Brown’s twin-tunnels plan, but takes a wait-and-see approach to Brown’s favored bullet train project – a wait-and-see approach based on the final outcome of various court challenges to the high-speed rail project.
Bottom line: Frazier is not your typical party-line Democrat.
The state’s new top-two primary scheme makes the 11th District Assembly race interesting in the fact that both candidates on the June 3 ballot will move on to the November general election. Frazier’s lone challenger, Henthorn, has a clear grasp of his talking points, and will likely make a credible attack on Frazier once the campaign begins in earnest. Don’t let that discourage you.
Come June 3, the choice of clear. Frazier for Assembly.