Commentary: Lois Wolk To Run For Senate, Now She had Better Be Prepared to Win

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Now the fun has truly begun. The Davis Enterprise reported yesterday that Lois Wolk, Assemblywoman who currently represents Davis in the 8th Assembly District will run for the state senate. She is unopposed for the Democratic primary.

Her opponent will be fellow Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian–who also figures to run unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Now it is time to get serious for Wolk. Frankly I was appalled when I saw the campaign finance figures that came out of the recent reporting period. Lois Wolk has raised all of $140,831. What has she been doing for the last year and two months? Was she really expecting to be able to run for reelection to the Assembly by way of passage of Prop 93.

Her opponent has already raised $656,675 and a good chunk of that has come directly from the Republican party–which means that they are targeting this race.

The Enterprise reports that Wolk has accepted campaign spending limits, but Aghazarian has not. That’s actually misleading, what this really means is that Aghazarian has passed the limits already in the amount he can spend. The law provides for a candidate to amend that form at least twice during the course of the campaign, so as soon as the candidate passes the finance limit, they will simply file an amended statement.

But let us not kid ourselves. This is a district that produced in 2004 the most expensive Senate race in state history. And it figures to surpass the $10 million mark this time. Simply math will almost insure that since there are very few senate district that have any sort of district that are in play.

Some have suggested that this race figures to be easier than the one that Machado eked out by a 13,000 vote margin.

However, we need to examine a few things before we anoint Assemblywoman Wolk the winner. Other than a contested Democratic Primary in 2002 where she faced a young West Sacramento Mayor, Christopher Cabaldon and former Vacaville City Councilman Steve Hardy, Wolk has really never had a contested race that she had to win. Even then, she was the best known and most experienced of the candidates.

She has not had to run in a contested partisan election. She has not had to run against a candidate who is on equally footing as she is. She has not had to defeat a better financed candidate than herself. She has not been a virtual unknown in the vast part of the district.

These should not be read as criticisms, they should be read as warnings that she had better take this fight as a life or death fight, because her opponent will fight her to the death. She has plenty of time to equalize those campaign finance numbers, but she had better getting cracking on fundraising.

Make no mistake, this is a race that a Democrat can and probably should win, especially in a year like 2008. However, it should not be taken for granted. This is a political fight, the likes of which, Lois Wolk has never faced and she had better be ready for it.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Commentary: Lois Wolk To Run For Senate, Now She had Better Be Prepared to Win”

  1. Lois is my candidate!

    Lois went to the mat for us on a number of bills, and we’ll fight hard for her in this election! No way we are going to be represented by a Republican!

  2. Lois is my candidate!

    Lois went to the mat for us on a number of bills, and we’ll fight hard for her in this election! No way we are going to be represented by a Republican!

  3. Lois is my candidate!

    Lois went to the mat for us on a number of bills, and we’ll fight hard for her in this election! No way we are going to be represented by a Republican!

  4. Lois is my candidate!

    Lois went to the mat for us on a number of bills, and we’ll fight hard for her in this election! No way we are going to be represented by a Republican!

  5. Anonymous

    Actually, it wasn’t that long ago we were represented by a Republican, Maurice Johannesson. Lois has a tough fight on her hands, and will need a lot of help going into the general election. She’ll get it from the party though, but much closer to Nov.

  6. Anonymous

    Actually, it wasn’t that long ago we were represented by a Republican, Maurice Johannesson. Lois has a tough fight on her hands, and will need a lot of help going into the general election. She’ll get it from the party though, but much closer to Nov.

  7. Anonymous

    Actually, it wasn’t that long ago we were represented by a Republican, Maurice Johannesson. Lois has a tough fight on her hands, and will need a lot of help going into the general election. She’ll get it from the party though, but much closer to Nov.

  8. Anonymous

    Actually, it wasn’t that long ago we were represented by a Republican, Maurice Johannesson. Lois has a tough fight on her hands, and will need a lot of help going into the general election. She’ll get it from the party though, but much closer to Nov.

  9. Anonymous

    Aghazarian will spend a lot more time in Yolo County than Mike Machado ever did.

    Remember all of you that worked so hard for Machado. What did he ever do for Yolo County?

    Nothing.

  10. Anonymous

    Aghazarian will spend a lot more time in Yolo County than Mike Machado ever did.

    Remember all of you that worked so hard for Machado. What did he ever do for Yolo County?

    Nothing.

  11. Anonymous

    Aghazarian will spend a lot more time in Yolo County than Mike Machado ever did.

    Remember all of you that worked so hard for Machado. What did he ever do for Yolo County?

    Nothing.

  12. Anonymous

    Aghazarian will spend a lot more time in Yolo County than Mike Machado ever did.

    Remember all of you that worked so hard for Machado. What did he ever do for Yolo County?

    Nothing.

  13. Anonymous

    Lois can fight for me all she wants, she’s shouldn’t count on my vote….tired ideas, latching onto the popular themes-and she’s been a part of a system that is just plain, not working. Unless of course you are foolish enough to think CA state government is working just fine. Time to show ALL of them the door-esp.her party..THE REAL question is: Does she support Prop. 98 or 99?? One is a fraud….does she know which one? Do you? Read them both carefully.

  14. Anonymous

    Lois can fight for me all she wants, she’s shouldn’t count on my vote….tired ideas, latching onto the popular themes-and she’s been a part of a system that is just plain, not working. Unless of course you are foolish enough to think CA state government is working just fine. Time to show ALL of them the door-esp.her party..THE REAL question is: Does she support Prop. 98 or 99?? One is a fraud….does she know which one? Do you? Read them both carefully.

  15. Anonymous

    Lois can fight for me all she wants, she’s shouldn’t count on my vote….tired ideas, latching onto the popular themes-and she’s been a part of a system that is just plain, not working. Unless of course you are foolish enough to think CA state government is working just fine. Time to show ALL of them the door-esp.her party..THE REAL question is: Does she support Prop. 98 or 99?? One is a fraud….does she know which one? Do you? Read them both carefully.

  16. Anonymous

    Lois can fight for me all she wants, she’s shouldn’t count on my vote….tired ideas, latching onto the popular themes-and she’s been a part of a system that is just plain, not working. Unless of course you are foolish enough to think CA state government is working just fine. Time to show ALL of them the door-esp.her party..THE REAL question is: Does she support Prop. 98 or 99?? One is a fraud….does she know which one? Do you? Read them both carefully.

  17. 無名 - wu ming

    a quick look at the republican-democrat turnout in the recent presidential primary (both of which were hotly contested) suggests that the tide will help lois significantly.

    yolo democrats: 34,000
    yolo republicans: 14,000

    solano democrats: 53,221
    solano republicans: 22,935

    san joaquin democrats: 63,559
    san joaquin republicans: 49,610

    (and yes, i did round off the yolo numbers ,but didn’t feel like adding them up again to get the exact #)

    democratic registration advantage in the district has been climbing for years. machado’s first race in the district probably was the last time this seat will be credibly considered swing, especially in a presidential election year such as 2008 is shaping up to be.

    the fundraising will come along. i’ll make my prediction now and call the race for lois.

  18. 無名 - wu ming

    a quick look at the republican-democrat turnout in the recent presidential primary (both of which were hotly contested) suggests that the tide will help lois significantly.

    yolo democrats: 34,000
    yolo republicans: 14,000

    solano democrats: 53,221
    solano republicans: 22,935

    san joaquin democrats: 63,559
    san joaquin republicans: 49,610

    (and yes, i did round off the yolo numbers ,but didn’t feel like adding them up again to get the exact #)

    democratic registration advantage in the district has been climbing for years. machado’s first race in the district probably was the last time this seat will be credibly considered swing, especially in a presidential election year such as 2008 is shaping up to be.

    the fundraising will come along. i’ll make my prediction now and call the race for lois.

  19. 無名 - wu ming

    a quick look at the republican-democrat turnout in the recent presidential primary (both of which were hotly contested) suggests that the tide will help lois significantly.

    yolo democrats: 34,000
    yolo republicans: 14,000

    solano democrats: 53,221
    solano republicans: 22,935

    san joaquin democrats: 63,559
    san joaquin republicans: 49,610

    (and yes, i did round off the yolo numbers ,but didn’t feel like adding them up again to get the exact #)

    democratic registration advantage in the district has been climbing for years. machado’s first race in the district probably was the last time this seat will be credibly considered swing, especially in a presidential election year such as 2008 is shaping up to be.

    the fundraising will come along. i’ll make my prediction now and call the race for lois.

  20. 無名 - wu ming

    a quick look at the republican-democrat turnout in the recent presidential primary (both of which were hotly contested) suggests that the tide will help lois significantly.

    yolo democrats: 34,000
    yolo republicans: 14,000

    solano democrats: 53,221
    solano republicans: 22,935

    san joaquin democrats: 63,559
    san joaquin republicans: 49,610

    (and yes, i did round off the yolo numbers ,but didn’t feel like adding them up again to get the exact #)

    democratic registration advantage in the district has been climbing for years. machado’s first race in the district probably was the last time this seat will be credibly considered swing, especially in a presidential election year such as 2008 is shaping up to be.

    the fundraising will come along. i’ll make my prediction now and call the race for lois.

  21. Democrat

    Wu Ming,

    I wish it was that simple. Back when Machado had a tough fight in this district there was a majority number of Democrats registered in the various counties you list. The numbers were less, but they were a majority for the Democrats.

    The SJ Valley Democrats don’t know Lois as well as Solano and Yolo. They will see her as too liberal as hard as it is to believe.

    I support Lois, but she doesn’t have to convince me it’s the others in SJ. She’s got a lot of work to do just as DPD says.

    I wish her well.

  22. Democrat

    Wu Ming,

    I wish it was that simple. Back when Machado had a tough fight in this district there was a majority number of Democrats registered in the various counties you list. The numbers were less, but they were a majority for the Democrats.

    The SJ Valley Democrats don’t know Lois as well as Solano and Yolo. They will see her as too liberal as hard as it is to believe.

    I support Lois, but she doesn’t have to convince me it’s the others in SJ. She’s got a lot of work to do just as DPD says.

    I wish her well.

  23. Democrat

    Wu Ming,

    I wish it was that simple. Back when Machado had a tough fight in this district there was a majority number of Democrats registered in the various counties you list. The numbers were less, but they were a majority for the Democrats.

    The SJ Valley Democrats don’t know Lois as well as Solano and Yolo. They will see her as too liberal as hard as it is to believe.

    I support Lois, but she doesn’t have to convince me it’s the others in SJ. She’s got a lot of work to do just as DPD says.

    I wish her well.

  24. Democrat

    Wu Ming,

    I wish it was that simple. Back when Machado had a tough fight in this district there was a majority number of Democrats registered in the various counties you list. The numbers were less, but they were a majority for the Democrats.

    The SJ Valley Democrats don’t know Lois as well as Solano and Yolo. They will see her as too liberal as hard as it is to believe.

    I support Lois, but she doesn’t have to convince me it’s the others in SJ. She’s got a lot of work to do just as DPD says.

    I wish her well.

  25. 無名 - wu ming

    it has shifted a fair amount from machado’s first run, the shift was a big part of what allowed jerry mcnerney to pull off his challenge of pombo in the 11th congressional district last election.

    i do agree that san joaquin county will be key to lois’s run, which is why she is planning to announce in stockton. i suspect it’s also a big part of why she’s spent the time working on so many delta and water issues in the past couple of years. whether that helps her at all, we’ll have to see.

    a good blog to watch for inside information on the southern side of the district is hank shaw’s blog for the stockton record.

  26. 無名 - wu ming

    it has shifted a fair amount from machado’s first run, the shift was a big part of what allowed jerry mcnerney to pull off his challenge of pombo in the 11th congressional district last election.

    i do agree that san joaquin county will be key to lois’s run, which is why she is planning to announce in stockton. i suspect it’s also a big part of why she’s spent the time working on so many delta and water issues in the past couple of years. whether that helps her at all, we’ll have to see.

    a good blog to watch for inside information on the southern side of the district is hank shaw’s blog for the stockton record.

  27. 無名 - wu ming

    it has shifted a fair amount from machado’s first run, the shift was a big part of what allowed jerry mcnerney to pull off his challenge of pombo in the 11th congressional district last election.

    i do agree that san joaquin county will be key to lois’s run, which is why she is planning to announce in stockton. i suspect it’s also a big part of why she’s spent the time working on so many delta and water issues in the past couple of years. whether that helps her at all, we’ll have to see.

    a good blog to watch for inside information on the southern side of the district is hank shaw’s blog for the stockton record.

  28. 無名 - wu ming

    it has shifted a fair amount from machado’s first run, the shift was a big part of what allowed jerry mcnerney to pull off his challenge of pombo in the 11th congressional district last election.

    i do agree that san joaquin county will be key to lois’s run, which is why she is planning to announce in stockton. i suspect it’s also a big part of why she’s spent the time working on so many delta and water issues in the past couple of years. whether that helps her at all, we’ll have to see.

    a good blog to watch for inside information on the southern side of the district is hank shaw’s blog for the stockton record.

  29. 無名 - wu ming

    now that i think of it, the hotly contested andal-mcnerney congressional race should send the san joaquin turnout through the roof. not sure if lois would benefit from that or not, but it’ll probably be a factor somehow.

  30. 無名 - wu ming

    now that i think of it, the hotly contested andal-mcnerney congressional race should send the san joaquin turnout through the roof. not sure if lois would benefit from that or not, but it’ll probably be a factor somehow.

  31. 無名 - wu ming

    now that i think of it, the hotly contested andal-mcnerney congressional race should send the san joaquin turnout through the roof. not sure if lois would benefit from that or not, but it’ll probably be a factor somehow.

  32. 無名 - wu ming

    now that i think of it, the hotly contested andal-mcnerney congressional race should send the san joaquin turnout through the roof. not sure if lois would benefit from that or not, but it’ll probably be a factor somehow.

  33. Anonymous

    Machado was an incumbent. Even with the voter reg numbers trending the way they are, just the fact that it’s an open seat will make it just as close if not closer than 2004.

  34. Anonymous

    Machado was an incumbent. Even with the voter reg numbers trending the way they are, just the fact that it’s an open seat will make it just as close if not closer than 2004.

  35. Anonymous

    Machado was an incumbent. Even with the voter reg numbers trending the way they are, just the fact that it’s an open seat will make it just as close if not closer than 2004.

  36. Anonymous

    Machado was an incumbent. Even with the voter reg numbers trending the way they are, just the fact that it’s an open seat will make it just as close if not closer than 2004.

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