(November 29, 2003) -- Citing his experience governing a city he describes as one of the most successful in CA, Signal Hill City Councilman Ed Wilson will challenge incumbent LB state Senator Betty Karnette in the March 2004 Democrat primary for the LB area's 54th district Assembly seat.
If he wins the Democrat primary, Councilman Wilson would face a Republican opponent in the November 04 general election in the district that encompasses LB, Signal Hill, Catalina, Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro and the ports of LB and L.A. .
Councilman Wilson's primary candidacy takes aim at fellow Democrat Karnette, who is term limited as a state Senator and seeking the Assembly post now held by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal. Lowenthal, also a Democrat, is seeking the state Senate seat being vacated by Karnette.
A press release from Wilson's campaign says the Councilman "helped shape the policies that changed the City of Signal Hill from an old oil town into an upscale community with thriving businesses, a diverse mix of residential neighborhoods (several of which have market values
of over $1 million per home), and a sound infrastructure. The community has been described in regional media as "a little Palos Verdes." Signal Hill also has something rare in California this year -- a balanced budget with established reserves for future economic downturns."
The campaign release says "Wilson's training and experience as a Certified Public Accountant have been pivotal in Signal Hillís transformation, and would be of great value in the State Legislature." The release quotes Wilson as calling the Assembly and State Senate's practice of planning the budget for one year while balancing the budget based on borrowing for 10-20 years "a blueprint for economic disaster," adding "It's no wonder California is in the current fiscal crisis. Obviously, more responsible budget planning is needed to get us out of this budget mess. I believe I can bring that to the State Assembly."
Among the recent Signal Hill City Council actions of local interest was Councilman Wilson's joining with a unanimous Signal Hill Council to end LB Fire Dept. service for Signal Hill residents, substituting L.A. County Fire service at less cost...which LB firefighters say means more remote responses at lower staffing levels. In making the switch, Signal Hill city management questioned cost figures cited by LBFD and noted that LB City Hall's multi-million dollar deficit carried the risk of future rate increases.
Apart from generally criticizing Sacramento's budget process, Wilson's release did not cite specific examples of votes by incumbent Democrats Lowenthal or Karnette with which Wilson, also a Democrat, disagreed...a matter that has acquired greater relevance following the recall of Gov. Gray Davis.
The 54th Assembly district contains more registered Democrats than Republicans...but CA also has more registered Democrats than Republicans...and Democrats crossed party lines in large numbers to recall Gov. Davis and elect Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. All of the LB area's Democrat state legislators urged voters to retain Davis.
The winner of the March 2004 Democrat primary will face the Republican primary winner in the November 04 general election. Former Congressman and Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall is running in the Republican primary...and has the early backing of the LB Area Chamber of Commerce.
In an August 03 release (previously reported by LBReport.com), the LB Chamber stated that "Alan Lowenthal and Betty Karnette have been identified by both the Long Beach and California State Chamber as some of the most anti-jobs and anti-business voting legislators in the state."