Top California officials endorse Dan Kalb for state Assembly District 15

Dan Kalb/Courtesy

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As local and statewide races for the 2018 election heat up, Dan Kalb won the endorsement of California State Treasurer John Chiang and California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in his campaign for the California State Assembly District 15 seat.

Kalb, who announced the new endorsements in a press release Tuesday, said both Chiang and Jones understand what it takes to be effective in Sacramento. He added that he feels “proud” to have their support.

“Dan Kalb is the kind of principled individual the East Bay needs in the State Assembly,” Chiang said in the press release. “He’s shown himself to be open to real reform, and has demonstrated that he understands and cares about government accountability, fiscal responsibility, and progressive, forward-thinking policies for the people of our state.”

Kalb, who is currently an Oakland City Council member, is running for incumbent Tony Thurmond’s current seat on a platform focused on environmental and clean energy issues, housing affordability, public safety and criminal justice reform as well as government accountability. He was previously endorsed by the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization.

More than a year ago, Kalb endorsed both Chiang, who is running for California governor, and Jones, who is running for California attorney general. He said he has known both candidates for more than 15 years, having worked with Jones in the California Legislature as an environmental advocate. Kalb added that Chiang is “one of the brightest guys” in Sacramento.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Chiang’s opponent, endorsed rival Assembly candidate Buffy Wicks, who said endorsements are an important indication of who can be “taken seriously.” Wicks added that endorsements can also reveal the connections that candidates have.

Richmond Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles, who is also running for the state Assembly seat, noted that the type of endorsement can also reveal a substantial amount about a candidate’s values.

“For me personally, community-oriented endorsements are more important than big-name politicians who have never set foot in our district,” Beckles said.

Kalb said individual voters use their own criteria to evaluate the candidates. He added that support from elected officials is an important factor to some voters, given the tight race for the District 15 seat.

“Most importantly, I am not relying on my endorsements to win the election,” Kalb said. “We are doing a grassroots campaign.”

Sophia Brown-Heidenreich covers city government. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sophiabrownh.