Meet Carl Wood, Democratic challenger to the GOP’s Paul Cook in the California 65th Assembly District. Carl is a lifelong advocate for labor and civil rights, a true blue progressive. Last election, Carl narrowed the spread on this race from 23% to 7% with only a skeletal campaign. He’s well known in Riverside County for his work as a Public Utilities Commissioner under Gray Davis, battling the forces of Enron.
This time, the 65th is a priority for local Democratic clubs and labor unions. So far Carl has the endorsement of the California Labor Federation, CNA, CTA, CSEA, CWA, LIUNA, SEIU California State Council, SEIU RN 121, Teamsters Council 42, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), and United Auto Workers (UAW).
This is a purple, not red district, and the incumbent’s staff is already making panicky mistakes. See over the flip. **Correction: Previously listed UDW among endorsers, which was incorrect.**
Candidates or their supporters sometimes get cranky about an opponent’s preferred designation.
An aide to Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, recently sent e-mails trying to mobilize opposition to Democratic challenger Carl Wood’s preferred designation as “job development coordinator.” Wood* is director of regulatory affairs for the national Utility Workers Union of America.
Cook aide George Price called the designation “an outright lie” and urged people to complain to election officials. The e-mail, though, showed that it came from Price’s Assembly account. State law prohibits political work with government resources.
Sam Cannon, Cook’s chief of staff, said Price was not at work and meant to send the e-mail from his personal account. “It’s definitely not an appropriate thing to do and he takes full responsibility,” Cannon said.
Cook has been through is own ballot designation fight. In 2006, a rival challenged his designation as “retired Marine colonel” but Cook prevailed. This year, Cook will be described as “member of the state Assembly.”
(*Corrected for this diary: PE article read “Cook is …”)
With California Senate seats in play, it’s imperative we reach a 2/3 majority in the California Assembly as well. Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are key battlegrounds for Democrats. Carl’s Act Blue page is here.