Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, announced Tuesday afternoon that he will seek re-election in 2018 to his current post and not run for a state Senate seat.
Less than two hours later, Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier, R-Fresno, announced his plans to run for the state Senate seat.
Patterson reverses a course he had been on for the last year. He announced in January 2016 that he would start planning to seek the Senate seat now held by Sen. Tom Berryhill, a Republican whose 8th District sprawls from Fresno to Sacramento’s eastern suburbs. Berryhill will reach his term limit next year.
Patterson went so far as to open a campaign account for a Senate race. But Tuesday, Patterson noted how he would be able to spend more time in the Assembly if he wins re-election next year. If he had won election to the Senate, he would have been able to serve a single four-year term. That’s due to how term limits are determined on how much time an official has already had in office. In the Assembly, Patterson can serve six more years.
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Too, Patterson’s 23rd District is strongly Republican and spans Fresno and Tulare counties. Specifically, its heart lies in north Fresno and Clovis.
“I have found a home in the Assembly and wish to stay there for as long as my friends and neighbors send me,” Patterson said in a statement. “Voters in Senate District 8 deserve a representative who can serve them for the full 12-year term.”
Patterson, a former Fresno mayor, will turn 69 next month.
Olivier lost an Assembly bid to Fresno Democrat Joaquin Arambula this year – twice, counting a special election to finish the term vacated by Henry T. Perea and then the race in November for the two-year term.
Olivier was first elected to the City Council in 2010 and terms out in 2018. He has become known for a commitment to conservative fiscal policies.
“I’m running for state Senate because I believe we can reignite the American Dream by cutting taxes for the middle-class and small businesses, prioritizing state spending on infrastructure and water storage, and protect our neighborhoods from rising crime,” Olivier said in a statement.
There is another connection between Patterson and Olivier: Alisha Gallon is Olivier’s wife and Patterson’s district director.