Yolo County could lose its lock on the local Assembly seat after 18 years, if Lake County politician Anthony Farrington has his way. The 43-year-old county supervisor, a Democrat, is seeking to succeed Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, when she is termed out in 2014.
Farrington seeks to represent the recently redrawn 4th District, which includes all of Lake and Napa counties, and parts of Yolo, Colusa, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Registered Democrats make up 47 percent of the district and Republicans constitute 27 percent, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Strong Democratic women from Davis have held a firm grip on the seat for nearly two decades. Before Yamada was elected in 2008, Lois Wolk and Helen Thomson each served six years in the Assembly.
But Farrington said partisan affiliations should not be what solely defines him as a potential representative. Instead, one of his stated goals is repairing the divide between the two polarized parties locally.
“Just because an individual is affiliated with another party does not mean you cannot work in the interest of common good for the people,” he explained.
If elected, he would be willing to set aside politics and reach across the aisle on issues that either side could rally behind: “I’d look to areas where we have shared interest — Democrats and Republicans — such as having a strong economy. Areas where we can work to grow the economy by creating a friendly business climate, as an example.”
In 2012, Farrington garnered more than 70 percent of the vote in his re-election to a fourth term on the Lake County Board of Supervisors. He attributes the support he has gotten to his efforts to reach consensus on issues.
He also points to his diverse background, which began with a bachelor’s degree in international relations from UC Davis. He also earned a law degree from Concord Law School, and continues to practice law as a private attorney.
But Farrington’s first job was in a classroom, teaching middle school students in Lake County. He then briefly worked in the county’s Office of Education.
“I understand the value of what it means to be a teacher and educator,” he said. “That, and my 12 years in office — with the breadth of issues that I’ve had to grasp and deal with on a local level — suit me for the position.”
Farrington’s résumé also includes managing the state water rights program for the Regional Council of Rural Counties, and membership on several state and federal management boards.
Not that it’s a prerequisite, but he has lived in all but two of the six counties he would represent. He said this is just another reason he’s especially suited to the Assembly seat.
Most important to him, Farrington said, is a continued commitment to remaining “focused on good constituent services, and being present and accessible in the district.”
Farrington is the first announced candidate for the Assembly seat. The would-be legislator’s stance on his upcoming campaign is that it will not be one of boisterous rhetoric.
“I’m not going to make a bunch of campaign promises in this election,” Farrington explained. “I can only promise that I’ll work hard for everybody: Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party, decline to state … every party, every constituent, as hard as I can.”
Yolo County Supervisors Don Saylor and Jim Provenza announced in March that they would not seek the position.
— Reach Brett Johnson at [email protected] or 530-747-8052.