Incumbent Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R) and challenger Harinder Grewal (D) are competing for the State Assembly 12th District seat in the November General Election.
Coming off the June Primaries, Olsen, the newly minted Chief Republican Whip in the State Assembly, attained 67.5 percent of the vote while Grewal received the other 32.5 percent. In the 2012 General election, Olsen won with 60.6 percent of the vote while opponent Christopher Mateo (D) took 39.4 percent. Each candidate advanced uncontested through the June Primaries, as there were only two in the race.
The race, though widely perceived as noncompetitive by numbers previous and present, does have some historical merit in terms of relation to Turlock.
Both candidates have ties to California State University, Stanislaus; Olsen served as the former Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs while Grewal serves as an economics lecturer at the University.
Olsen, who previously served on the Modesto City Council from 2005 to 2009, prioritizes youth and education in her work as a State Assemblymember through education reform measures.
Olsen, a supporter of veterans and active duty military members, introduced two bills, AB 150 and AB 151, which were signed into law by Governor Brown. AB 150 authorized the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide veterans with free admission to California’s state parks on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
AB 151 allows counties the option of waiving building and inspection permit fees for ADA-type modifications to homes owned by veterans with service-related disabilities. Prior to the bill, counties were required to collect fees for home modifications, improvements and inspections.
Grewal, an agricultural exports specialist, serves as a Trustee for the Turlock Unified School District, Director for the Stanislaus County Fair Board and Member of the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council.
He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics and Masters of Business Administration degrees.
Both candidates have signs posted throughout the District, and particularly near the University. Grewal’s signs read “Dr. Grewal for State Assembly, Dedicated and Proven Leadership” with his campaign website below; others state, “Harinder Grewal For Assembly 2014.” Olsen’s signs uniformly read “Kristin Olsen, Assembly.”