Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Out lawmakers in Stockton, Campbell confirm Assembly bid plans

Two more out candidates have made their Assembly bids official this month.

In Stockton, lesbian City Councilwoman Susan Talamantes Eggman has confirmed she will seek the state’s 17th Assembly District seat in 2012. The Bay Area Reporter had broke the news March 3 in its online Political Notes column.

At the time Eggman declined to discuss her plans in detail until she spoke with her hometown paper The Stockton Record. She broke her silence last week, telling the newspaper that she will run for the seat held by Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani (D-Livingston), who will be termed out next year.

Also expected to seek the seat is San Joaquin Delta College trustee and frequent political candidate Jennet Stebbins, according to the article.

Coincidentally, this week Galgiani (seated at left in the photo) picked Eggman to be her Woman of the Year for her Assembly district.

Eggman, 50, was just elected to her second four-year term on the Stockton council last November. A U.S. Army veteran who grew up in the East Bay’s Castro Valley, Eggman is a social work professor at Sacramento State and is in a long-term relationship with her partner, Renee Hall.

A social work professor at California State University, Sacramento, Eggman would be the first out woman of color to serve in the Legislature. She would also be the first state lawmaker from San Joaquin County since 2008, according to the Record.

While the 17th Assembly District currently encompasses portions of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties, the local paper noted this year’s redistricting process is likely to redraw the boundary so that it is mostly made up of Stockton and falls entirely within San Joaquin County.

Also officially announcing his Assembly bid this month was openly gay Campbell City Councilman Evan Low. He made his announcement Thursday, March 10 that he would run for the 24th Assembly District, which will be vacated next year by Assemblyman Jim Beall (D-San Jose) due to term limits.

Low, 27, was just re-elected to his council seat last fall. Second from right in the photo to the right, Low is joined by his brother and Oakland Police Officer Ryan Low, father Dr. Arthur Low,  and his mother Stella.

He will likely face off against his mentor, openly gay Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who is also eying a run for the South Bay Assembly seat.

The Assembly district includes Campbell and Saratoga as well as parts of San Jose, Santa Clara and Los Gatos. Redistricting will also have an impact on the race, as the number of Asian American voters is increasing due to population growth in Silicon Valley.

For that reason, it was no accident that joining Low at his announcement were local Asian American politicians San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong. The Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus also came out with an endorsement of Low in the race last week.

“At a time when California is facing significant challenges, we need leaders like Evan, who have experience at the local level, understand first-hand the challenges communities across the state face and have a record of finding innovative solutions and getting results.” stated caucus chair Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-South Los Angeles County). “Evan Low is an innovative, dynamic leader, who will bring fresh new ideas to the California State Assembly.”

As of now, there are at least five out non-incumbents expected to run for the state Assembly this year. In addition to Low, Yeager and Eggman are two out candidates seeking Los Angeles area seats.

Torie Osborn, a lesbian activist and former mayoral aide, is seeking the 41st Assembly District seat, while Luis Lopez, the founder of HONOR PAC, the first statewide Latina/o LGBT political action committee in the country, is running for the 45th Assemby District seat.

The seat had been held for years by Jackie Goldberg, one of the first out members of the state Legislature.

A number of local politicians are hosting a fundraiser for Low in San Francisco Thursday, April 21. The host committee includes Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom; state Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco); openly gay San Francisco City Treasurer Jose Cisneros; gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos; and openly gay Community College Board member Lawrence Wong.

The event takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the 40th floor of the Transamerica Pyramid, 600 Montgomery Street. Tickets start at $100 per person.

Due to security at the building, RSVPs must be emailed by April 19 to

— Matthew S. Bajko, March 21, 2011 @ 6:02 pm PST
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