Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd has made official his candidacy for next year’s race in the 4th Assembly District.
It’s an answer to the public’s call for a reliable civil servant, Dodd said. And with his decision, the 57-year-old Napa County resident becomes the fifth member of a growing field of candidates to replace termed-out Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis.
“I just feel like if people that are qualified don’t step up and take the challenge, then we only have ourselves to blame,” Dodd said. “That’s my motivation, to help improve the situation for counties in the state that have been victim to bad policies.
“Now, I don’t think that as one person of 80 I can march up to Sacramento and change how business is done,” he continued. “However, if more passionate business-minded individuals like me got involved, I think we could do better things for California.”
Job growth, education and supporting the state’s senior citizens and farmers top Dodd’s campaign priority list. He’s calling for support from a district that covers all of Lake and Napa counties, and parts of Yolo, Colusa, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Residents in Napa and Yolo counties encompass 61 percent of voters in the recently redrawn district. And it’s almost an even split between the two: Yolo has a 32 percent share of the registered voters, and Napa has 29 percent.
The last time someone from Napa County held a seat in the California Assembly was 33 years ago, but Napa has a two-in-five chance right now. Among the five candidates this go-around is Napa County Planning Commissioner Matt Pope. The other candidates are two from Yolo County — Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza and Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk — as well as Lake County Supervisor Anthony Farrington.
All five are Democrats; no Republican contenders have stepped forward yet. At one time, Dodd was a Republican, but he re-registered as a Democrat in 2012.
Dodd describes himself as “socially liberal and fiscally conservative,” and said his stances (he’s pro-choice, and supports immigration reform and marriage equality) are at odds with his former party affiliation.
And while his Republican past is sure to be revisited by contenders in coming debates, Dodd said the most important part of his background should be his public policy record in his 13 years as a Napa County supervisor.
Looking further back, Dodd earned his degree at Chico State. He went on to become a small business owner with Culligan Water franchises throughout the North Bay before his 2000 election to the Napa County Board of Supervisors.
“I believe my experience in business lends itself well to moving California to a more fiscally responsible path,” Dodd said. “There’s a few of us (in Napa) with the same background, and that’s resulted in 13 straight balanced budgets, without significant cuts to services.”
Dodd also has served on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission board and has been involved with the Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.
He was born in and still resides in Napa County with his wife, Mary. He has five children and two grandchildren.
— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett