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.
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.