Monday, January 13, 2014

Chris Lehman Drops out of the Senate Race

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge lehman.jpg
Chris Lehman — the 35-year-old Arcata man who announced his candidacy for the State Senate with vigor last August — said in a press release today that he will abandon his campaign.

Lehman launched out of the gate shortly after current Senator Noreen Evans announced she wouldn't run for the 2nd District in 2014. He quickly gained support from current and former  assembly members, most of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, and other notables. He laid out his platform in an August interview with the Journal, which you can read here.

Lehman says he chose to support Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire rather than run a costly campaign against a candidate with "similar backgrounds and beliefs."

Here's the press release:

Dear Friend:

When Senator Noreen Evans announced last summer that she would not run for reelection, I received a great deal encouragement from North Coast leaders to become a candidate to replace her.

As a native of Arcata with a 15-year career of working with the State Senate, I felt a strong sense of duty to continue my service by putting my name forward. I believe strongly in public service and my family was willing to make the necessary sacrifices of time and privacy to ensure our community's voice is heard in Sacramento.
The people of Northern California deserve a Senator who combines experience with a strong commitment to the needs of all residents up and down the North Coast. The people of our state deserve leaders committed to progressive values like providing educational opportunities and access to healthcare for all, building a strong and sustainable economy, and protecting a woman's right to choose.

Since I announced my candidacy, other candidates have emerged also seeking to represent the vast interests and diverse populations of this district. But one candidate, Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, has the unique blend of experience, commitment, energy, and a proven track record required to ensure our community is well represented in the Senate.

Supervisor McGuire and I have similar backgrounds and beliefs. Our biggest difference is geography - he's from one community and I'm from another. That is not a sufficient reason for us to wage a costly campaign against each other when both of us believe that the job of a Senator is to represent ALL seven counties on the North Coast.
So after careful thought, consideration, and prayer, I have decided the best way for me to serve right now is to refocus my energies on building the coalition we need to elect strong Democratic leaders to the Senate.

I am also looking forward to continuing my work to fight big tobacco and tobacco-related diseases, and working with Tom Steyer and Next Generation Climate Action in fighting for a healthier and cleaner environment.

I am grateful that Supervisor McGuire is supportive of all these important efforts.

That's why today, I am suspending my campaign and endorsing Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire for the State Senate in District 2.

Supervisor McGuire is committed to working with me and other dedicated community leaders in creating a 7-county North Coast Agenda to ensure fair representation of each county's interests in Sacramento.

I can assure all of you that the interests of the North Coast along with the progressive values we all share will be best represented by electing Mike McGuire to the Senate. In the coming days I will be reaching out to thank every friend, colleague and family member who gave so much time, energy and effort to help my campaign. My brief experience as a candidate, bolstered by your support and encouragement, has helped reinforce my life's priorities, and I am more excited than ever about the journey ahead.

Thank you once again.

Chris Lehman

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About The Author

Grant Scott-Goforth

Bio:
Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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