Surprise Choice: Lee Becomes First Davis Councilmember to Endorse in Assembly Race

BrettLeeRFor much of the battle for the State Assembly to replace termed out incumbent Mariko Yamada, the colleagues on the city council, citing a variety of reasons have stayed out the endorsement. That changed on Tuesday and did so in a most surprising way.

If you were projecting endorsements, one would never have expected that Councilmember Brett Lee, who finds himself much of the time on the opposite end of policy decisions from Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, to have been the first to break ranks and endorse. But that is exactly what happened.

As a press release from the Dan Wolk for Assembly campaign noted, “Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk announced today that he has received the endorsement of Davis City Councilmember Brett Lee in his campaign to represent the 4th District in the California State Assembly. Lee joins nearly 100 other statewide, community, education, public safety and other leaders from all over the district supporting Wolk.”

As Councilmember Lee noted in his statement this was as much of a personal decision as it was a policy decision.

“I had an opportunity to get to know and become friends with Dan Wolk when I was running for Davis City Council,” Councilmember Lee said. “I believe Dan will represent Davis and our region well in the State Assembly.”

Councilmember Lee was first elected to the Davis City Council in 2012, after running a campaign that focused on preserving and protecting Davis’ unique quality of life. He is a dedicated member of the Sierra Club and has been active in the local community, including several local ballot measures.

The Wolk Campaign notes that since announcing his candidacy, Dan Wolk has amassed an impressive list of local endorsements from leaders in every corner of the 4th District. In addition to Lee, they include former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, Former Assemblymember and Yolo County Supervisor Helen Thomson, Yolo County Supervisors Mike McGowan, Jim Provenza and Don Saylor, Solano County Supervisors Linda Seifert and Skip Thomson, Lake County Superintendent of Schools Wally Holbrook, Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorge Ayala and Napa Vice Mayor Peter Mott.

Dan Wolk has served on the Davis City Council since 2011 and is currently Mayor Pro Tem. He is Deputy County Counsel for Solano County, handling public finance, public contracting and water issues. He is also the founder of the Legal Clinic of Yolo County, a legal services provider for low-income families.

Dan Wolk grew up in Davis and attended Davis public schools, before attending Stanford University and receiving his law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. He lives in Davis with his wife, Jamima, a former professional triathlete and small business owner, and their two young daughters, Avery and Layla.

Dan Wolk is opposed by Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada’s endorsed choice Matt Pope from Napa, and Napa Supervisor Bill Dodd.

The Fourth Assembly District consists of Napa and Lake Counties, most of Yolo County, as well as portions of Sonoma, Solano and Colusa Counties.

—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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