January 23, 2004

State Assembly Elections, District 78

By Raymond R. Beltrán

On March 2, the Primary Elections will include five candidates running for State Assembly District 78, which includes a wide variety of areas across San Diego County, many of which have been added in 2002.

District 78 stretches from Chula Vista, just east of the Interstate 805 Freeway, and continues up into the College Area, as well as Lake Murray, Allied Gardens, and San Carlos, to name a few. It is a very diverse district in terms of economic, cultural, and environmental demographics, ranging from areas like Lemon Grove, Bonita, and neighborhoods mentioned above, to areas such as West and East Encanto, Chollas Park, and Paradise Hills. District 78 is shaped as a vertical column going up the center of San Diego County, even extending out into the rural areas of Spring Valley, Jamacha, and Jamul.

Proposed Assembly District 78 demographics, updated in 2001, recorded that Latino residents make up 27.77% of the population, trailing behind “white” residents, who make up 39.07%, and followed by the Asian American community at 16.56%. African Americans are the fourth largest community in the 78th District with a rate of 13.06%. In 2001, 48.35% of the district was registered to vote, with 36,410 voters coming from the Latino community.

With these demographics and the nearing elections for District 78 in mind, there are five candidates on the ballot for State Assembly. They are Maxine Sherard (D), Arlie Ricasa (D), Patty Davis (D), Shirley Horton (R), and Josh Hale (L). Shirley Horton presently holds the position of State Assembly Representative and will be up for re-election this year.

The role of a State Assembly elect is to represent the district, in this case District 78, by creating or deciding on laws based on California’s State Legislative matters. For example, issues decided by the California State Assembly have included significant, yet controversial, issues like Senate Bill 60, the reform of California’s worker’s compensation system, and California’s budget deficit recovery.

Being a partisan election, the State Assembly candidacy will go to the winner of each party with most votes, and will face off with other party candidates in the General Elections later in November of this year. As Hale and Horton are the only candidates of their parties, the Primary Elections bare down to which Democratic candidate will face off with them in the General Elections.

The Democrats

Maxine Sherard (D)

As a life-long Democrat, elected chair of the Martin Luther King Democratic Club, and an outspoken advocate against the War on Iraq, Maxine Sherard is currently running for State Assembly, District 78, and is focusing on quality education for high school students in San Diego.

Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree from South Carolina State College, a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Iowa, Sherard jumped into the academic scene in San Diego and has introduced such programs as the Math Camp, which prepares students for the High School Exit Exam. To her, education is top priority and if elected, she wishes to focus on hiring better qualified teachers, keeping politician’s hands off funds for schools, and expanding the Math Camp to all school districts in San Diego.

Sherard is currently a member of the Girls Club of San Diego, Broadway Heights Community Council, and Literacy Volunteers of America. She was also requested by Mayor Dick Murphy to serve on his advisory committee as the voice of the community. As a representative and candidate, she highlights the need for affordable housing, quality roads, funding for public safety, and more community facilities, such as parks and libraries.

Issues that are vital to Maxine Sherard include livable wages for working families, making affordable and quality health care accessible for the community, clean and healthy neighborhoods in San Diego, and she’s also an advocate for a woman’s right to choose. She has been an outspoken advocate for these issues, having approached the city council with her concerns. She’s also spoken in favor of preserving Downtown San Diego’s African American historical sites.

Maxine Sherard is a Professor the San Diego Community College District, and she has also been requested to be one of five keynote speakers for the March 16th Peace Rally at Balboa Park.

Patty Davis (D)

Having served in the U.S. Army and grown up in rural Kentucky, Patty Davis, a Democrat, says she hopes to bring the feeling of a small hometown to one of the San Diego’s fastest growing regions, Chula Vista, as she is currently running for State Assembly, District 78, in the Primary Elections on March 2.

Aside from her life on the farm, Davis has a resume exhibiting her experience in real estate business. Having earned an Associate’s Degree in Real Estate from Indian Valley University in 1976, Davis began an extensive career as a realtor with her own businesses, Patty Davis Property Management and Patty Davis Realtors, having earned a realty license the year she graduated. Following her education, Davis earned her broker’s license and became a graduate of the Realtor’s Institute in 1986.

Before being elected to Chula Vista City Council in 1998, Patty Davis has had an active hand in South Bay realty, having served on the South San Diego Bay Cities Board of Realtors since 1979. She has held the position of director and officer of the South San Diego Board of Realtors from 1987 to 1997. She has been president of the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors, Chairman of Committees for the Association of Realtors, and has served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of Realtors.

Davis was elected to City of Chula Vista City Council in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002. Patty Davis’ public service work extends with the San Diego Regional Housing Task Force, Community Service Committee for the California League of Cities, the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego Association of Governments’ Housing Element Advisory Committee. She served as Deputy Mayor of the City of Chula Vista from 2000 to 2001.

In her time as a public servant, Davis has constructed the blueprint for the Greenbelt Plan, 28-mile running trail surrounding Chula Vista. She advocated for a program to reduce greenhouse gases, and has also produced an energy legislation that reduced energy consumption by 15%, which pushed for energy control in business buildings and solar energy for residential areas.

Arlie Ricasa (D)

Arlie Ricasa was born and raised in the same city she resides in and represents today, Bonita. Said to be the highest-ranking Filipino American elected, Ricasa took a position on the Board of Trustees of the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) in 1998, and was re-elected four years later.

As former president of the SUHSD, Arlie Ricasa focuses on education as a primary issue as she is currently a running candidate for State Assembly, District 78. She is the Director of Student Develop-

ment at Southwestern College, where she had previously been a professor and academic counselor.

Ricasa is an alumni of San Diego State University, where she earned her Master of Science Degree, and of University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Ricasa is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Arlie Ricasa is a director at the South Bay Family YMCA and the Chula Vista Police Activities League. She is currently the chairperson for the San Diego South County Joint Trustees School Board as well as a member of the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Filipino American Educators Association of San Diego County, San Diego County School Boards Association and California School Boards Association.

Her honors include the “Outstanding Professional of the Year”, “Distinguished Alumnus of the Year” and “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”.


Shirley Horton (R)

Shirley Horton grew up in San Diego and graduated from Bonita Vista High School. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree from San Diego State University, she started her own business and has since then been appointed to the Planning Commission for the City of Chula Vista, among other positions.

In 1994, Horton, a Republican, was elected as Chula Vista Mayor, and re-elected in 1998, where she increased the rate of police officers on the streets. She is said to have improved protection for the environment.

As San Diego County’s 78th District Assemblywoman since 2002, up for re-election, Horton has voted to repeal Senate Bill 60 (SB60), which would have permitted immigrant workers the right to attain driver’s licenses. She currently serves on the Labor and Employment Committee, the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, and on the Jobs, Economic Development and Economy Committee, amongst others.

Issues that Horton is planning to focus on are increasing penalties for sex offenders, improving services for the elderly, and supporting veteran’s homes. She also wants to keep college fees affordable for students.

As an elected official in the community for many years, Shirley Horton has volunteered at Scripps Memorial Hospital Community Advisory Board, the Chamber of Commerce, and the South Bay Family YMCA. She’s also created a yearly project that raises funds for families suffering with domestic violence issues.

Shirley Horton has introduced a number of legislations. Assembly Bill (AB) 181 would ensure that the Attorney General update the Legislature as to the compliance, or non-compliance, rates of registered sex offenders. AB 863 would make child abuse cases, which lead to death (Penal Code Section 273d), a felony case punishable by enhancement of prison sentences. AB 1067 is a drug reform act which removes such drugs as ketamine, Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), and GHB (gamma hydro-xybutyrate), known as date rape drugs, from the protection of Proposition 36, which would divert drug possessors from the penal system and into a rehabilitation center.

Josh Hale (LIB)

Josh Hale, a native San Diegan, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. Aside from being a candidate for District 78 State Assembly in the upcoming elections, he is a registered representative of New England Securities, and is licensed by the State of California for Life and Health and Long Term Care Insurance.

If elected to State Assembly District 78, Josh vows to represent common sense, and a belief in liberty and individual freedom in the State Assembly.

Return to the Frontpage