‘Year of the woman’
With women running for just about every office, will 2018 mark change in government?
The latest news in California politics comes from the Winnemem Wintu tribe in Shasta County. Caleen Sisk, chief and spiritual leader of the tribe, has announced her candidacy for state Assembly, challenging incumbent Brian Dahle, a Lassen County farmer first elected to his seat in 2014.
The timing seems appropriate, given the flood of women filing candidate papers in districts and offices dominated by white men.
“It is the year of the woman, and a lot of women leaders around the world are stepping forward and taking a place here, and in this county I think we are making history to have a tribal woman step up because we’re from here, we’re from this land,” Sisk told the Redding Record-Searchlight. Phone calls and an email seeking comment for this story were not returned as of press time.
Indeed, she’s not the lone North State woman vying for office. While the Assembly ticket is still a mystery—the filing period ends March 24, with announcements expected March 29 from the California Secretary of State’s Office—others have been finalized. And there are women on the ballot in offices ranging from county supervisor to governor to the House of Representatives.
Two of the frontrunners hoping to unseat Rep. Doug LaMalfa, in fact, are women. With the filing period ending March 9, the official candidates for that office are according to BallotPedia: Democrats Audrey Denney (Chico), Jessica Holcombe (Auburn), Marty Walters (Quincy) and Larry Jordan (Mount Shasta), squaring off against Republican Gregory Cheadle (President Trump’s “my African-American,” Redding) and Green Party candidate Lewis Elbinger (Mount Shasta).
Locally, there are women candidates for both open seats on the Board of Supervisors. In District 3, where Maureen Kirk has decided not to seek re-election, mediator/counselor and former Chico City Councilwoman Tami Ritter faces local dentist and winemaker Norm Rosene and retired Air Force Col. Bob Evans.
Debra Lucero is vying for Larry Wahl’s District 2 seat. Lucero, who’s originally from Corning, is an active community member known for her advocacy of the arts and tourism, as well as her role as CEO of the Butte County Economic Development Corp.
“I feel honored to be among so many talented women who have chosen to run this year,” Lucero said. “It’s a different thing for your life. It’s a big decision, suddenly you’re in the spotlight, being scrutinized. Some people think, ‘Just because you’re a woman, you’re going to run.’ But the truth is, I’ve been wanting to run for a very long time. It’s just the right time.
“I really do believe this is the year of the woman,” Lucero added. “It’s time for our voices to be heard.”