Two candidates with Turlock ties will square off to represent the region in the State Assembly.
Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen (R-Modesto), a former California State University, Stanislaus employee, and Harinder Grewal (D-Keyes), a Turlock Unified School District Trustee, will meet in a primary election on the June 3 ballot.
Both Grewal and Olsen will proceed to the November election for the State Assembly seat, as the are the only two candidates running. The top two votegetters advance to the November ballot regardless of party affiliation.
Grewal is an agricultural export specialist, economics lecturer at California State University, Stanislaus and a small businessman. Grewal says the state legislature is failing to meet the needs of the Central Valley, so he believes it is time for representation in Sacramento that understands long-term planning and meeting the needs of a 21st century Central Valley.
Grewal plans to fight for increased water storage, to control excessive regulations for small business, and concentrate on local interests. Grewal believes the Central Valley is in great need of economic development, stronger educational opportunities, and effective leadership.
On his campaign website, Grewal writes, “For too long, our interests and needs have taken a back seat to Bay Area and Los Angeles interests. Our water delivery infrastructure has received little to no investment in almost a century.”
Olsen, the incumbent, was first elected to the California State Assembly to represent the 12th District in November 2010, and was re-elected to her second term in November 2012.
Olsen says that she prioritizes government efficiency and accountability, job creation, educational excellence, and local control. Olsen previously served on the Modesto City Council and works hard to support the manufacturing, agriculture, and food processing backbones of her local economy.
Olsen was named Chief Republican Whip in her first term and currently serves as vice chair of both the Assembly Agriculture and Education committees as well as on the Insurance, Higher Education and Accountability and Administrative Review Committees.
On her campaign website, Olsen writes, “I am a persistent advocate for governance reforms that will help make our state legislature and agencies more citizen-focused, transparent, accountable, and effective.”
Olsen also previously served at CSU Stanislaus, as Assistant Vice President for the Office of Communications & Public Affairs directing marketing and communication programs.