Assemblymember Dodd Formally Announces His Senate Run

BD campaign headshot

State Assemblyman Bill Dodd today announced he is a candidate for the State Senate in District 3. Dodd’s announcement includes an event featuring over 200 local leaders who support his election to the Senate. They include elected county supervisors, city councilmembers, sheriffs, district attorneys and other local office holders, as well as Congressman Mike Thompson.

“I’m running for everyone who is concerned about the California that we are passing on to future generations, and for young people confronting a future with greater uncertainty,“ said Assemblymember Dodd in a press release this morning. “I will push for policies that renew the promise of the American Dream and expand the Middle Class – access to high quality K-12 and college educations, support for small business creation and expansion, and improved roads and highways that help the economy grow rather than drag it down.”

The announcement ends months of speculation about the intentions of the first term Assemblymember, who won in a hotly contested primary just over a year ago and has been in the legislature for less than nine months. Instead of running for Assembly in a relatively safe seat, Mr. Dodd will face, among others, former Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, whom he replaced in the Assembly in December after Assemblymember Mariko was termed out, having served six years in the Assembly.

In a phone conversation with the Vanguard this morning, Bill Dodd said that they will have their formal announced at 4 pm today.

He explained his reasoning for running for the Senate, “I’ve been very comfortable with the legislative process and in evaluating the Senate and the Assembly, looking towards the future, this seat is open one-time for perhaps the next twelve years, I really believe that I can be more effective and do more for my constituents (in the Senate) based on just a really short experience of eight months than I can do in the Assembly.”

“My experience building partnerships, really working with other people, really lends itself to be more effective in a body of 40 as opposed to a body of eighty,” he added.

Bill Dodd, in his conversation with the Vanguard, pointed to two key legislative accomplishments so far. Both he characterized as “incredible” accomplishments.

One that went through both houses of the legislature was for Berryessa Snow Mountain, “which made its way to the President of the United States.” He said, “I was invited by the President to come back to Washington DC along with the representatives Mike Thompson and John Garamendi… to see the signing of the designation of the National Monument.”

He said this was the first resolution of its kind for the President to make such a decision.

Bill Dodd also cited his bill on gender-pay equity. “AB 1354 is a very important public policy issue in the United State today, particularly in the state of California. Creating not only more attention to this issue, but actually make businesses that have contracts for the state of California have gender-pay equity policies and report this important information back to the state agencies, I think is very important.”

Assemblyman Dodd also announced that Representative Mike Thompson, current District 3 State Senator Lois Wolk, and Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering have endorsed his candidacy.

“Bill and I have worked together on many issues,” said Congressman Thompson. “Most recently, Bill was instrumental in having 330,000 acres of Berryessa Snow Mountain declared a national monument, which preserves an environmental and recreational treasure.

“Bill has my support because he will be effective in the State Senate on issues that matter for real people,” continued Thompson.

“Bill has been an effective partner on many issues for our district, including assistance for those affected by last year’s Napa earthquake,” said Senator Lois Wolk. “Bill is tenacious, principled, and a good listener – a great choice to follow me in the Senate.”

“Bill was the driving force behind the recently completed improvements to Highway 29 through Jameson Canyon in Solano and Napa Counties,” said Supervisor Jim Spering. “No one else could have done what Bill accomplished.

“He is a person of action and I’m proud to endorse him for Senate,” continued Spering.

Dodd’s other public service achievements include:

  • Leading the multi-billion dollar project to control flooding in Napa County that included major environmental achievements such as the restoration of over 800 acres of wetlands;
  • Strengthening and extending Napa County’s historic agricultural preservation initiative;
  • Co-authoring legislation implementing a state Earned Income Tax Credit, which directly puts money back in the pockets of working families;
  • Working to include $400 million in the state budget for Career Technical Education.

Bill Dodd told the Vanguard that the endorsement of Senator Lois Wolk who currently serves the district as Senator, was “huge.”

“There is no doubt that Lois Wolk is an institution throughout this district,” Assemblymember Dodd stated. “She has represented this district both as a Senator and an Assemblymember over the years with distinction.”

With Assemblymember Dodd announcing his run for the Senate, that will open speculation about the Assembly seat, which is now vacant for the second time in two years. Among potential candidates are Davis Mayor Dan Wolk and Supervisor Don Saylor.

A source told the Vanguard, “No official announcement has been made” by Dan Wolk. However, the Vanguard is told to “expect something very soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow.”

The 3rd Senate District includes all of Napa and Solano Counties, as well as portions of Contra Costa, Sacramento, Sonoma and Yolo Counties. It includes the cities of Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Sonoma, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena, Yountville, Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo, Davis, Winters, Woodland and Isleton.

—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.

Related posts


    1. Matt Williams

      Does it really add any intrigue? Dan is clearly going to run for the Assembly seat, and all the signs point toward Don running against him for that open seat. If there is any intrigue, it is whether Napa will field another single candidate (like Dodd was in 2014) and benefit from Dan and Don splitting the Davis vote the way Dan and Joe did in 2014.

  1. Frankly

    help the economy grow rather than drag it down.

    From what I have observed in his short time in the Assembly, Dodd has a pretty good track record to back this claim.   I think Mayor Dan would have a very hard time making the same claim with his track record.  Although his track record really does not have much tangible to criticize with respect to economic policy.

    It is interesting because I see Napa and other communities moving forward and surpassing Davis’s old district/regional political power.   The “Davis way” not only more weakly resonates with district voters, but it is increasingly seen as being weird and out of touch with reality.

    Maybe that is our destiny… to be seen as increasingly weird and out of touch with reality by others in the region.

      1. Frankly

        I assume you are comparing the City of Napa to the City of Davis.  The City of Napa would not benefit from its regional tourism population without investment in economic development.   In fact, Napa was similar to Davis for a number of years in that a no-growth bedroom community ruled.  But over the last 20 years the downtown has been redeveloped to the point that the City of Napa is actually a destination.

        You can develop a City to be a destination.  It can be the anchor of a region.  Ever been to Portland for example?

  2. Barack Palin

    The “Davis way” not only more weakly resonates with district voters, but it is increasingly seen as being weird and out of touch with reality.

    Maybe that is our destiny… to be seen as increasingly weird and out of touch with reality by others in the region.

    Plastic bag ban anyone?  Kid’s meal soda ban?  I know people who laugh at Davis.

        1. Davis Progressive

          but maybe that’s not a currently well earned reputation.  and if you want to hammer davis, you have to hammer a lot of other communities as well.

        2. Barack Palin

          Are you going to tell me you’ve never heard people referring to the ‘People’s Republic of Davis’?  If you get out at all and don’t just hang with other liberals you hear it all the time.  I have friends that ask me what whacked policy is Davis going to implement next.

        3. Davis Progressive

          no what i’m telling you is that the reputation of davis is based on actions that occurred 20 to 40 years ago.  if you look at recent actions by davis, sure there are some liberal policies, but davis is not any sort of outlier on anything other than growth.  and as you know, growth isn’t a strictly left-right consideration.

        4. Barack Palin

          The past?  Didn’t our council just pass the kid’s meal soda ban, the first city to do that?  Then we had our local activists occupying Central Park, occupying UCD, pepper spray incident, picketing Monsanto, students closing down intersections at rush hour….etc.

          There’s lots of wackiness happening here.

        5. Frankly

          I think if Davis had a track record for contributing more to regional economic growth instead of becoming a bedroom community sponging off the soft money of UCD… the: frog tunnels, bag bans, MRAP returns, and soda restrictions would be de minimis considerations.   However, it is ALL we have to show for our most highly educated city.    And so yes, we are laughed at and taken less seriously in the region.  And Davis isn’t the political career path launching pad it once was.  Davis has lost influence in the region, and will continue to lose influence in the region.

          1. David Greenwald

            My reading of things is that if Davis loses influence in the region it is going to have much less to do with the things you listed and more to do with the failure to capitalize on economic development opportunities.

        6. Frankly

          That was actually my point.  That if we had sufficient economic development achievement those other things would get less attention… or be looked at as maybe “progressive”.  But lacking the former, it appears that these things are ALL we spend our policy time on.  And to the outside, we appear foolish and not worthy of any leadership role.

        7. Barack Palin

          I remember I was in line a couple of years ago to buy a movie ticket and 2 hippy looking guys road by on contraptions that I think might be called bikes and several people laughed and said “only in Davis”.  Davis doesn’t have a good perception outside of the city.

    1. Miwok

      Plastic bag ban anyone?  Kid’s meal soda ban?  I know people who laugh at Davis.

      In a town with more pets per capita than children, plastic bags were being recycled  exponentially, but now? What do you pick up the pet-doo with? Oh, another plastic bag… Davis!

  3. Davis Progressive

    it appears that both dan wolk and don saylor will be running along with perhaps a latino from napa.  could be a repeat of 2014, although dodd is presumably supporting wolk, saylor doesn’t figure to be as formidable as krovoza.

  4. Don Shor

    …and it’s official….


    I have big news and I want you to be the first to know: I am running for the California State Assembly.

    This is an exciting and unexpected opportunity to make a difference for the people our region and all of California. As mayor and a county attorney, I have seen the challenges facing our region firsthand – in Sacramento, I will fight tirelessly and collaboratively to address them.

    I am running for Assembly to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

    I will lead efforts to fight for the middle class, grow the economy, ensure a resilient water supply, protect natural resources and guarantee access to quality education for California’s students.

    Will you help us get this campaign off to a strong start by making signing up to join us today?

    Paid for by Dan Wolk for State Assembly 2016, FPPC #pending.

    1. Davis Progressive

      so my choices –

      dan wolk who is in over his head as mayor.

      don saylor who i disagree with on major issues

      some unknown latino from napa…

      interesting.  where’s joe krovoza?

      1. hpierce

        “so my choices –
        dan wolk who is in over his head as mayor.
        don saylor who i disagree with on major issues
        some unknown latino from napa
        interesting.  where’s joe krovoza?”
        Suggests  disdain for latinos and/or Napa.  VERY ‘progressive’…

        1. David Greenwald

          I read his comment as him not knowing the name of the guy from Napa who may or may not enter the race and then not being impressed with the field, calling for someone else. Not sure why you are reading in disdain for Latinos or Napa.

  5. Don Shor

    Charlie Schaupp comments over at the Napa Valley Register:

    Bill Dodd and his ‘new friends’ in the Democratic Party are playing ‘musical chairs’ with the State Senate and Assembly seats. We have been aware of this for some time. By having Dodd attempt to move to the Senate, Lois Wolk, in support Dodd’s move, reopens the Assembly seat for her son Dan Wolk. Dodd is a political opportunist who was a lifelong Republican until he saw a chance to go to the Assembly, as a Democrat, while Yamata is a lifelong Democrat who should be considered as the real Democrat for the Senate. Hopefully the voters will reject this Democratic political ‘gamesmanship’. Therefore, I have filed my 501 ‘Candidate Intention Statement’ for the 4th Assembly District that Dodd is walking away from and Greg Coppes, Solano County Veteran leader, has done the same and will run as a GOP candidate against Dodd for the Senate seat. I will be looking forward to an enlightening campaign for all the voters of both districts.
      1. hpierce

        Hmmm… perhaps it would be good to have Davis represented by an “unknown latino” from Napa, or an uber-conservative, skin-flinted, ‘everything for business’, Republican (sorry Frankly, you are teaching me how to string together adjectives).  Then, we’ll see some true “whine”.

        let the games begin!

  6. Tia Will


    Davis doesn’t have a good perception outside of the city.”

    Well that is certainly news to all those that are supposedly looking unsuccessfully for places to live in Davis and being
    “forced out” of Davis.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for