Dodd Easily Wins the Assembly Seat

Bill Dodd on Tuesday night celebrates his election to the State Assembly
Bill Dodd on Tuesday night celebrates his election to the State Assembly

This time he didn’t have to sweat out the victory. In June, it took about ten days for all of the votes to come in to make it clear that Bill Dodd had finished first by what turned out to be more than 600 votes over Charlie Schaupp, and Dan Wolk finished third and would not make it to the November Election.

This time there would be no waiting. In a heavily Democratic 4th Assembly District, Bill Dodd easily defeated Republican Charlie Schaupp in their head to head match up. Bill Dodd cruised to a 60.5 to 39.5 victory with a more than 16,000 vote margin.

“I am proud to have earned the support of voters on Tuesday to be the next Assemblymember for the 4th District,” Mr. Dodd said in a statement to supporters on Thursday.  “Throughout this 18 month campaign, I have spoken about the values and beliefs I plan on bringing to the Assembly — of progress over politics, and putting the people of California ahead of narrow interests. I am excited to get to work on your behalf to build a better state for our children and grandchildren.”

“I’m really just grateful frankly for the match up that I had,” Bill Dodd told the Vanguard this week. “While I think that Charlie (Schaupp) presented some challenges, it was really the primary that gave me the opportunity to make this happen.”

“My first and foremost priority is to work with the other legislators to advance legislation in the areas of education, water, infrastructure and jobs,” Mr. Dodd stated. “Those are the things that I think are the priorities.”

“My priorities for my district are to really be a strong force in representing [the entire district],” he noted. “It’s a real priority for me – and you’ve heard me talk about how I want to represent Davis and the rest of Yolo County as well as [current Assemblymember] Mariko [Yamada] and before that Lois [Wolk] has in this assembly seat, and Helen [Thomson] before her. That’s a priority of mine; it’s to really spend the time in Yolo County being sure that people on the ground know that I’m their representative.”

Bill Dodd told the Vanguard that he plans to keep Mariko Yamada’s office open in Woodland. “I am taking over Mariko’s [office] in Woodland, it’s just too early to tell what else could transpire,” he said. “For now, yes, I will have an office in the County Seat in Woodland, I will drive through Davis every single day [on his way from Napa to Sacramento], so my assumptions are that I will go to the events and other things where I’m needed or wanted or can learn more about the community.”

Bill Dodd spent 14 years on the County Board of Supervisors in Napa.   In 2012, while a Republican, he endorsed John Munn against Mariko Yamada for the Assembly.  But he has switched to the Democratic Party.

“During my last 13 years on the board, one can clearly see from my votes where my values [lie],” Mr. Dodd told the Vanguard in an interview in January 2014.  “Essentially, issues like immigration reform, coming from Napa County, agricultural area that it is, I’ve seen first-hand the treatment of our Latino farmworkers in many regards – and that needs to change.”

“I’ve supported women’s rights, particularly the right to choose.  I have consistently supported marriage equality and equality for everybody.  I’m also concerned about the shrinking middle class,” he continued.  “It’s these kind of values that absolutely make me a Democrat and why I switched.”

Mr. Dodd described himself as a centrist at that point and added, “I was a centrist in my previous party.  I am clearly a centrist now.  Socially moderate to liberal and what I call, fiscally responsible.”

It was a bruising primary that saw Bill Dodd face off against then-Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza and Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk. The primary was noted for the proxy war between union-backed independent expenditures that attacked Bill Dodd – mainly for things that were either untrue or outside of his control – against industry-backed independent expenditures that did the same.

Despite this bitter fight, the two camps reconciled and Dan Wolk ended up being a strong supporter of Bill Dodd.

In his conversation with Mr. Dodd, he pledged his support and promised to do whatever he could do to help get the Napa County Supervisor elected to the Assembly. In September, he and Joe Krovoza hosted a fundraiser in Davis for Bill Dodd.

“I am happy to endorse Bill Dodd to represent the 4th Assembly District. I know Bill will be an excellent, hardworking representative for the diverse communities in this district – and I look forward to working with him to make California better,” said Mr. Wolk in June.

Bill Dodd stated at the time, “Dan Wolk was a formidable opponent who made this campaign a more vibrant exchange of ideas for the future of California. I valued the occasions we shared the stage at candidate forums to discuss how our state should move forward improving our public schools, infrastructure and environmental protections.”

He added, “I am honored to have Dan’s support for the November general election and look forward to working with him to serve the residents of Davis and all of Assembly District 4.”

Bill Dodd will be sworn in on December 1, 2014.

—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. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      The district has a roughly 60-40 Democratic or Democratic-leaning registration edge. However, it is still nearly 40% Republican or Republican-leaning*, and thus our Assembly district is one where it is quite unlikely we would get a Dan-Bill Dem v. Dem general election. Although there are a few ways this could happen, I guess the most likely would be one where the Republican vote in the primary is split down the middle between two candidates who are equally well known or equally funded. Perhaps the second most likely is if no Republicans run at all.**

      *As of the latest count, Schaupp got 39.5% of the vote. Munn (37.5%) did a little worse in 2012. However, that may have been due to Obama’s coattails in California. In the Yamada-Munn open primary in 2012, Munn took 40.8% to Yamada’s 59.2%.

      **With all due respect to people like John Munn and Charlie Schaupp, I find it curious why such seemingly normal men would want to engage in what amounts to a fixed fight, where they really have no chance to win from the start. It’s for that reason I have decided not to fight Cain Velasquez.

  1. South of Davis


    Rich wrote:

    >  With all due respect to people like John Munn and Charlie Schaupp,

    > I find it curious why such seemingly normal men would want to engage

    > in what amounts to a fixed fight, where they really have no chance to

    > win from the start.

    I kind of get why people like Munn and Schaupp run since if the person they were running against got sent to jail or did something horrible they might have a chance… What I don’t get is why any Republican would run against Nancy Pelosi (in my old district) since even if Pelosi admitted that she was a hit woman for the mob she would still get more votes than the Republican.  I just looked (see link below) and some Republican guy named John Dennis got 14.9% of the vote running against Pelosi in 2012 and for some reason thought he might win in 2014 so he ran again getting only 11.9% of the vote…

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