The Davis City Council stands to receive a bit of a shake-up next year, as Mayor Joe Krovoza and Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk both announced Friday that they will run for state Assembly in June 2014.
The two council members will make it a four-pack of Democrats, so far, who will compete for Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada’s seat. Lake County supervisor Anthony Farrington went public with his campaign in March and Napa County Planning Commissioner Matt Pope did the same last month.
Yamada, D-Davis, represents the recently redrawn 4th District, which spans Colusa, Napa, Lake, Yolo and parts of Solano and Sonoma Counties. The Assemblywoman will term out next year.
Krovoza, who has served on the council and as Davis’ mayor since Don Saylor vacated his seat for the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 2011, went public with his Assembly bid in an email blast Friday.
He later told The Enterprise that the timing for the campaign works out perfectly because it allows him to finish his term on the council.
“My core interest in running stems from an obligation I feel to public service, not seeking higher office per se,” Krovoza said in a statement. “Serving as mayor has confirmed to me that I can make a difference, and the next place I know I can effectively contribute when my term on the City Council is complete is the state Assembly.”
The mayor also said that Saylor and Supervisor Jim Provenza’s decisions earlier this year not to run for higher office sealed the deal for him.
“Don and Jim are the senior public servants in town, and I would not have (run if they had),” he said.
Krovoza works for UC Davis as a fundraiser for the Institute of Transportation Studies as well as the university’s Energy Efficiency Center.
Wolk, meanwhile, went public with his intentions to joust for the Assembly seat a few hours later Friday, though he will formally announce his campaign sometime in the next few weeks.
Wolk was appointed to the council in 2011 when Saylor left for the Supervisors and then was re-elected last June — along with new council members Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee — as the top vote-getter in the election. Wolk works as deputy county counsel for Solano County.
“In response to requests from the press, I can confirm that I will be announcing my candidacy for the California State Assembly in the weeks ahead,” Wolk said in a statement. “I am inspired by the strong support and encouragement I have already received throughout the district, and I look forward to a great campaign.”
In the spirit of local campaign announcements, Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson also released a statement to announce her plans to run for one of the two seats that will become vacant on the council, seeking her second term.
Swanson was elected in 2010 along with Krovoza.
“I am humbled and honored to have received numerous requests from throughout the community to continue to work on (their) behalf,” Swanson said in a statement.
As for the Assembly race, neither Krovoza nor Wolk would comment specifically about running against one another.
Krovoza did say, however, that he’s still looking forward to the tough issues that he and the council must contend with together over the next 12 months.
Wolk said that he was confident the race would not affect the work the two have left to accomplish on the council.
“Joe and I both have the interests of the city at heart, and I know we will continue to work well together along with our council colleagues,” Wolk said in a text message.
If Krovoza should win the Assembly seat, Wolk would remain on the council and two slots would be open on the dais for the June 2014 council election, one of which Swanson hopes to reclaim.
If Wolk should win, two seats would still be left open for the council election in addition to Wolk’s seat that he will have vacated for the Assembly. Krovoza will not be a part of the 2014 council election.
When Saylor left for the Supervisors mid-term in 2011, the council was forced to appoint a new member themselves. The group eventually selected Wolk. The council must appoint a new member or call a special election within 60 days of the official vacancy date, according to state law.
— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash