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UPDATE: Palmdale City Councilman, incumbent to vie for Assembly seat

Posted: January 17, 2014 1:04 p.m.
Updated: January 17, 2014 4:19 p.m.

Two candidates on opposite sides of the aisle confirmed to The Signal Friday they are planning to run to represent a state Assembly district that takes in portions of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Both Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, and Palmdale City Councilman Tom Lackey, a Republican, said they will campaign to represent the 36th Assembly District, which covers portions of Canyon Country and north Saugus.

Another candidate, Lou Gonzales, had previously announced his intention to run in the 36th Assembly District.

Primary elections in California will take place June 3, with the general election following on Nov. 4.

Fox, who won a surprising victory in 2012 over his Republican opponent, then-Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith, said Friday he thinks his being a “conservative Democrat” in the Assembly has served the district well.

“You’ve got my conservative values and you’ve got the power of the super-majority (Democratic Party) behind me,” Fox said.

Fox actually mounted an Assembly bid as a Republican in 2008 before winning a narrow victory as a Democrat in 2012.

He was one of two Democrats elected to represent portions of the Santa Clarita Valley in 2012, the other being 27th District Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills.

Lackey, who recently retired from his long-time position as a patrolman with the California Highway Patrol, was first elected to the Palmdale City Council in 2005.

“As someone who was raised in the desert community of Boron, became a special-education teacher and spent almost 30 years protecting California’s roadways, I am running for the Assembly to give our region a clear voice,” Lackey said in a news release.

“As a City Councilman for the residents of Palmdale and a former school board member, I will provide our residents with both an experienced and resourceful leader.”

Lackey also ran for the Assembly in 2012, but he came in a close third in the open primary, finishing almost 800 votes behind Fox.

In a news release announcing his candidacy, Lackey said he has already secured a number of endorsements from local Republicans, including Board of Equalization Member George Runner, former state Sen. Sharon Runner, current state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.

“Tom Lackey is the best choice to serve our community in the Assembly,” Ledford said in a news release. “He has the temperament, diverse background and true leadership experience to do a great job for our area.

“I know that I am not the only one who will be working hard to see Tom elected this year,” he added.

Fox, too, claims a weighty list of endorsements, which he said includes numerous Democrats in the state Legislature.
“I appreciate the opportunity the public has given me,” Fox said. “And I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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