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Jon Fleischman

Beth Gaines Will Run In 4th A.D. Special Election

Earlier tonight I had a lengthy conversation with Beth Gaines.  Beth’s husband Ted is currently a member of the California State Assembly and is the Republican nominee for State Senate in a special election to take place next Tuesday.  The Senate District, formerly held by Senator Dave Cox who unfortunately passed away after a long bout with cancer, is considered a "safe" GOP seat.

Beth and I talked about Ted’s campaign — she and Ted feel very good about the election, on which they are both working hard, taking nothing for granted.  (Ted and Beth are pictured to the right.)

Then our conversation turned to the pending vacancy in the 4th district where it was rumored that Beth has been contemplating a run (h/t to Linda Hunter at Placer County Online for being the first out-the-gate with a potential Beth Gaines candidacy).  In today’s Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert blog, Ted acknowledged that Beth was, in fact, considering a run.

Based on my conversation with Beth, I feel comfortable in saying that she is going to run for the Assembly, pending her husband actually winning this Tuesday.  Her precise words to me were that she is "very seriously considering running for the Assembly" —  but taking into account the entire conversation, and her decisive attitude and enthusiasm about a run, it was clear to me that the Ted Gaines for Senate HQ will not be shutting down next week.  On the contrary, I think it will quickly morph into the Beth Gaines for Assembly HQ. 

Gaines will get into a race where there is already one other aggressive Republican candidate in the field — Roseville Councilman John Allard.   Allard, a former longtime aide to former State Legislator Tim Leslie and who now owns a home cleaning service franchise, jumped out of the gate with a host of endorsements, very reminiscent of the Ose for Congress campaign.  Of course, that didn’t work out so well for the moderate former U.S. Representative, but then Allard is not facing Tom McClintock as an opponent, either.  Ose and former Congressman John Doolittle are among Allard’s early endorsers.  Popular Congressman Tom McClintock, who was just re-elected with a very wide margin of support, has not weighed into the race as of yet, though he was a high profile supporter of Ted Gaines over Assemblyman Roger Niello in the State Senate special election primary, and Allard endorsed Ose over McClintock in that contentious primary.  Allard has retained well respected political consultant (and FR blogger) Matt Rexroad of Meridian Pacific to run his campaign.

My friend and popular radio talk show host Eric Hogue had a recent write up on a potential Beth Gaines/John Allard match up that is worth a read.  Though I will say that I think that Eric’s use of the word "nepotism" in bold print at the top of his piece is a bit over the top.  Hogue references "GOP Nepotism" because two other GOP couples have served simultaneously in the legislature — George Runner was a State Senator while his wife, Sharon, served in the Assembly — and Tony Strickland was a State Senator while his wife, Audra, served in the Assembly.  While having a spouse who was already in office was helpful, the definition of nepotism is, "favoritism granted to relatives or friends regardless of merit."  

In the case of Sharon Runner, I have known Sharon as long as (if not longer than) George, going back to our days as activists in the California Republican Assembly, long before George even ran for the Assembly.  Both were key leaders in the group, and co-owners of a private school.  In the case of Audra Strickland, heck she and I go back to her days at Chairman of the U.C. Irvine College Republicans, well before she met Tony.  Both Sharon and Audra were superior legislators in their own right.   While I have not known Beth Gaines as long as I’ve known the others, she is smart, capable, and very conservative — not to be underestimated one bit.

In my opinion, look for a formal announcement from Beth shortly following Tuesday’s special election — and then we’ll be off to the races.  One interesting twist here will be whether or not Beth will be able to retain the well respected Dave Gilliard as her consultant — Gilliard has a long association with the Gaines family, and is currently the consultant for Ted’s State Senate race.  That said, Gilliard already has signed an unannounced candidate for AD 4, and it remains to be seen whether or not Beth’s entry will impact whether Gilliard’s client decides to run, or take a pass.  And, it is worth mentioning that since there isn’t even a vacant Assembly seat yet, there is no telling who else might emerge as a candidate for the seat.

One interesting issue to be worked out is where John Allard stood in the big showdown battle between Gaines and Niello a couple of months back.   When I was talking with Matt Rexroad, he assured me that Allard had endorsed Gaines (Niello was defeated in a rout, no doubt because of his votes for the largest tax increase in California history).  But when I spoke to the Gaines campaign, they told me that Allard had not endorsed or helped Ted in his primary against Niello.  We’ll look into this more as we get past Tuesday, and into the AD 4 race.

5 Responses to “Beth Gaines Will Run In 4th A.D. Special Election”

  1. Says:

    Jon – Allard did endorse Ted Gaines. Everyone up here knew that – the fact that they did not put Allard’s endorsement on the website is a question they can answer.

    Donald Wilson – a Center Unified School District Trustee and someone you’d know from the Capitol is the client of Dave Gilliard. Wilson hired a campaign manager yesterday.

    There is a man from Auburn – Michael Babich – most recently who got 22% of the vote in the Primary against McClintock who will file as well.

    There does not look to be a candidate from ElDorado County. If there is, it will likely be a Supervisor –

    Next question – who will the Democrat Be?

  2. Says:

    Jon – found out some more:

    Donald Wilson is out – he called his campaign manager first and then some other people.

    So, it looks like Gilliard is going to run Beth Gaines’ campaign.

    The Beth Gaines thing may have been in the works for a while – the rumors were first surfaced in November about her run. If this was pre-planned even before then, it could also suggest a reason why the Allard was never posted on the site???

  3. Says:

    Correction to last sentence:

    … why the Allard endorsement was never posted on the site…

  4. Arrowhead.Ken@Charter.Net Says:

    I think couples serving in the legislature is fine as long as they are both conservative republicans.

    Helps reduce the risk of having an affair with your chief of staff like Rep. Jerry Lewis did or falling out of a gay bar, DUI in the wee hours of the morning as one of the infamous Sacramento Six did.

    This is certainly not nepotism. Each must be elected to a separate office. There is some synergy that helps each other’s campaign, but must win the voters approval.

    Typically one spouse is the candidate (politician) and the other spouse is the normal person who is fine with living in the real world.

    They look like a cute couple in the photo above. Spartacus approves.

  5. Says:

    “jumped out of the gate with a host of endorsements, very reminiscent of the Ose for Congress campaign.”

    Jon, there is a huge difference between Doug Ose and John Allard. Whereas Doug Ose represented an adjacent congressional district and was not present in the district before the campaign, John Allard is a Roseville city councilman, the largest city in the district. John is also very present in the community. You can hardly find anything good that has taken place in South Placer that John has not been involved in. John has the business community. John has the conservative Christian community which is important in the district. He has earned all that support over many years. John has been running for this seat for years and Beth will need to catch up. The question that I would ask is will Senator Ted Gaines coattails trump John Allard’s very deep roots? This will certainly be interesting.