Heystek: “The Decision I Announced on October 17, 2009 Stands”


Lamar Heystek announced this afternoon at 4:30 pm in vestibule outside of the Community Chambers that his decision from October stood and he will not seek re-election.  He thanked the outpouring of support from community members who signed the “Draft Lamar” petition.  He said that this was a difficult decision the past two weeks, but he is placing his private life over his public life.  He was surrounded by a small contingent of supporters, his father, his brother Louis, and his fiance Pui San.

Lamar Heystek had originally announced his decision not to run in October citing at that time family concerns.  However in recent weeks a group of citizens launched a petition to encourage him to re-think his decision.


Earlier this week, he sent out an announcement that he would make a statement late on Friday afternoon.  One Friday afternoon, he delivered brief remarks to the gathered crowd expressing his gratitude for their support but his desire to embark on a private life with his soon-to-be new wife and family.
He read the following comments from a prepared statement:
I am humbled beyond words at the remarkable effort undertaken by numerous community members, several of whom I consider great friends and allies who believe that Davis would be best served by my continued pursuit of life in public office.  I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their enduring friendship, support, and faith me in me.  I am truly blessed to have friends and allies who believe in me personally and politically.

I am here before you today because I believe their very public efforts deserve a direct personal response from me and an equally public setting.  The setting I have chosen has been at the center of my public life for the past four years, Davis City Hall. 

The suit I am wearing today is the suit I wore when I found out I had lost the election in 2004.  It is the suit that I declared my candidacy in 2006.  It is the suit I wore when I found out I had enough votes to claim a seat on the city council in 2006.   It will probably be the suit I am buried in.

I must honestly say that while I deeply respect the “Draft Lamar” effort, it has compounded the difficulty with which I had to make this most recent decision regarding my public life.  The pressure on my shoulder these past two weeks has been quite palpable.  While I am most thankful for these efforts, that these efforts have brought me closer to the ones I love most, especially my fiancé Pui San, Adrian, the best man of my wedding, and my twin brother Louis, they can also attest to the amount of time and energy I spent considering every word and every perspective of every community member who has desired to make their thoughts on the subject known to me. 

Since the “Draft Lamar” petition began circulating, I devoted tens of hours, speaking to community members by phone, and in person.  In reading and responding to email messages, support, and advice.  Without the support of Pui San, Adrian, and Louis these past few days would have been more difficult.  I owe a debt of gratitude to these three and their reliable source of strength for the past few years and longer and will continue to be so for the rest of my life.

For me the ultimate path has hinged on two oath, on the one hand I do not want to walk away from an opportunity to continue upholding the solemn oath I took in service to the community nearly four years ago.  On the other hand, I want to focus all of my energies to the solemn oath I will be taking on my wedding day and will commit to uphold for the rest of my life. 

I believe back in October, and I still believe today, that continuing to pursue elective office at this time would not be conducive to my personal ambition to be a successful husband and father within the next four years.  Therefore the decision I announced on October 17, 2009 stands. 

I want to apologize to all of those I disappoint with this announcement.  I am very sorry to have let you down.  I want you to know I do not take lightly the opportunity I am forgoing in the short term.  However, while I certainly do not believe that a successful private life and a successful public life are by definition mutually exclusive, I do not believe that the time is now to strive for both simultaneously at this juncture in my life.

I am not prepared at this time to endorse a candidate for the 2010 city council election because the filing period is apparently still open additional candidates may emerge in the coming days.  Once the filing period closes, I await the spirited election season where numerous candidates discuss policies and their vision for our city in the coming years.

However many candidates there are they all have my sincerest and best wishes for a successful campaign.  My campaign slogan in 2006 was it’s a brand new day, today is one of those days for me.  Today is the beginning of a new chapter of my life, a chapter in which I pursue happiness with the one I love, outside the public sphere.

For as long as I remember, I have endeavored to live up to the words my father has so often spoken to me, to thy own self be true.  And today I think I am.  Thank you very much for your time.

As of now there are three candidates for two open Davis City Councl seats.  Already announced are Joe Krovoza, Rochelle Swanson, and Sydney Vergis.  The Vanguard has heard that Jon Li, a long time community member and former candidate may have also pulled papers.  There are some rumblings now of additional candidates.  They have until next Wednesday to file with an extended filing period.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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  1. westof113

    Good for Lamar. Only when one’s personal life is in balance can one give their best in service. Knowing yourself is job one. I have a good feeling that this is not the last we will hear from this young man.

  2. Greg Kuperberg

    Obviously I don’t see city politics the same way that Lamar does. On many issues, I either wouldn’t agree, or wouldn’t want the same approach, or both.

    On the other hand, it is true that Lamar cares about politics, that he put a lot of work into serving on the city council, and that he is a generally polite guy. I also somewhat understand his political perspective; in other situations such as national politics, I probably would often be on the same side.

    Anyway, many congratulations to Lamar for his upcoming marriage, and good luck to him on his future career plans.

  3. civil discourse

    Greg Kuperberg, your opinion has been duly noted. You may proceed to the next post. I respect Lamar’s choice. I think if he ever decides to get back into public office, he’ll find support.

  4. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I think if he ever decides to get back into public office, he’ll find support.”[/i]

    I have thought for awhile that Lamar would have a good chance to make it into the state legislature. As it happens, our state assemblymember is 1) certain to be a Democrat, because of party-registration advantages in our district; and 2) very likely to come from Davis, because Davis Democrats make up the largest bloc of voters in our assembly district’s primary.

    (The Davis factor, I believe, is why Mariko Yamada, despite being a lousy candidate, a tool of special interests like the CPF and less experienced in public office, beat Christopher Cabaldon in 2008.)

    However, having discussed Lamar’s chances with a leading Democratic politician in our region recently, I am less sure that he can win the Democratic primary. The problem Lamar faces is funding. Only if he can raise $100,000 or more will he stand a chance.

    Lamar’s work on the Davis City Council might put him on the outs (for now, at least) with the most important source of funding Democrats need to run an effective campaign and win the primary: unions. Especially vital are the teachers, firefighters, prison guards and the CHP. A less important source of money for many Dems comes from major land developers, like Angelo Tsakopoulos and Steve Gidaro, and they might be wary of Lamar, too.

    The Democratic politician I spoke with made it clear that the unions now really don’t like Lamar and because of that he cannot raise $100,000 and thus he cannot compete with a Don Saylor or other well-funded Davis candidate in the primary*.

    For what it’s worth, this list ([url]http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/candidate.phtml?c=98050[/url]) shows where Mariko gets her monetary support:

    [b]General Trade Unions $83,150
    Public Sector Unions $63,971 [/b]
    Lawyers & Lobbyists $29,109
    [b]Health Professionals** $20,402 [/b]
    [b]Real Estate $8,200 [/b]
    [b]Party Committees $7,974 [/b]
    [b]General Contractors $6,300 [/b]
    Food & Beverage $5,460
    Telecom Services & Equipment $5,200
    Pro-Choice $4,600
    Education $4,400
    Retail Sales $3,600
    Tribal Governments $3,600
    Pharmaceuticals & Health Products $3,500
    [b]Candidate Committees $2,739 [/b]

    The ones in bold are groups I think Lamar might have trouble attracting money from.

    *If there are two name candidates from Davis and one from Vacaville or West Sac, it’s possible the two Davis Dems would split the Davis vote and give the seat to someone from outside of Davis.

    **Health professionals is really the nurses who work for the state of California, the UC hospitals and other unionized hospitals. Their money goes to the same places as the public employee union money goes for the same reasons.

  5. Sue Greenwald

    Telecom is definitely out as well. Also, this doesn’t include the massive PAC money, which is mostly union. Also, this doesn’t include the massive amount of PAC money is mostly union.

    And we haven’t yet seen a race with a candidate who was a real threat to special interests. If such a candidate entered a primary or a general election, much more money would flow in to the opponent.

    People often ask me if I plan to run for higher office, and I always laugh. I explain that you have to make a choice when you enter politics. If you want to be truly independent of special interests, you have to stick to the local non-partisan offices. And even then it is difficult.

  6. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]And we haven’t yet seen a race with a candidate who was a real threat to special interests.[/i]

    I’d like to see a candidate who is a threat to ALL interests. Lucifer incarnate. Then certainly he won’t be bought and paid for.

  7. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I’d like to see a candidate who is a threat to ALL interests.”[/i]

    I’d prefer candidates didn’t have to raise private money. But in that they do, it would be preferable that a candidate [i]could[/i] raise money from his constituents who are giving just because they share his vision for what the general interest is and don’t expect to be paid off with his votes.

    Most donors are looking for a pay-off. Yet my guess is that most who personally benefit from government policies also think that what is in their interest is also in the public interest.

    Prison guards very likely do believe that we need to lock up convicts for very long terms; they probably do believe in three strikes and the war on drugs; and they likely do believe that because the job is dangerous and takes special training, they deserve every cent of their $210,000 a year (in total comp); and that if we paid less or outsourced our prisons, the general public would be harmed by such choices.

    Because powerful donors control politicians (and sometimes control the advertising in ballot measures), their personal (or group) interests trump the general interest, whenever the two collide. As I showed in my March 3 column ([url]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_-iCrgpX1jNM/S5x3nR6is6I/AAAAAAAAAaQ/9codWtltt_M/s1600-h/Prisons+vs+Higher+Education.jpg[/url]), our doubling of the percentage of the state budget on prison expenses came entirely out of higher education funding. When the former went up, the latter went down. And I cannot imagine that very many citizens who are not profitting off of the incarceration industry, knowing that its money has robbed CSU and UC of their funds, would think that has served the general interest.

    Maybe even Mr. Forget the Facts Kuperberg would even agree with that.

  8. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]Maybe even Mr. Forget the Facts Kuperberg would even agree with that.[/i]

    Yes, definitely! No, wait, I forgot what it was that I was supposed to agree with.

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