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Equality California Endorses Candidates in Legislative and Local Races
Orange County Senator Josh Newman, Openly Gay San Diego Sheriff Candidate and LA County Assessor Among Endorsed Champions for Equality
March 7, 2018 at 7:18 am

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March 7, 2018

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: sam@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO — Today, Equality California announced the endorsements of six legislative and local candidates across the state, who have each demonstrated a strong commitment to LGBTQ equality and their communities.

The candidates endorsed by Equality California are as follows:

Senate District 29

Equality California endorses Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) in his campaign against the recall election in Senate District 29, which will be held on June 5. Senate District 29 includes Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Chino Hills, City of Industry, Cypress, Diamond Bar, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia, Rowland Heights, Stanton, Walnut, West Covina and Yorba Linda. Since his election in November 2016, Senator Newman has chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee and championed legislation to promote clean air and water, funding for public schools and full equality for women and the LGBTQ community.

“A United States Army veteran, Senator Newman has spent his first two years in Sacramento fighting to make government work more efficiently and effectively for the communities he serves, including LGBTQ Californians,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “We’re confident that voters in the 29th district will see through this divisive political charade funded by out-of-town special interests and vote to keep Josh fighting for us in the Senate.”

San Diego County Sheriff

Equality California endorses Dave Myers in the June 5 election for San Diego County Sheriff. Myers, a commander in the County Sheriff’s Department with 32 years of law enforcement experience, is running against incumbent William D. Gore. Myers has committed to prioritizing police accountability and transparency, reducing homelessness through wraparound services instead of criminalization, fighting crime with community policing and combating the opioid crisis, if elected. Throughout his career, he has been a champion for equality and improved relations between law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve.

“San Diegans deserve a sheriff who will work to keep all of our communities safe,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “As an experienced, openly gay law enforcement officer, Dave Myers will help to restore trust between the Sheriff’s Department and San Diego’s LGBTQ community and communities of color. And he’ll prioritize public safety and police accountability over divisive politics.”

Los Angeles County Assessor

Equality California endorses Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang in his campaign for reelection, which will be held on June 5. First elected in 2014, Prang has worked to modernize the Office of the Assessor to increase efficiency for LA County taxpayers and ease the burden on small businesses. Last December, Prang was recognized by the LA County Board of Supervisors for “pioneering innovation in assessment administration and for working to ensure excellence in service to the public.” Prang has been an openly gay elected official for over 20 years and has worked closely with Equality California’s Leadership Institute to mentor other up-and-coming LGBTQ candidates and elected leaders. Throughout his career, Prang has consistently championed LGBTQ equality, including leading efforts to create the first government body representing the transgender community — the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board — and in his previous role as chair of the LGBTQ caucus of the League of California Cities.

“Los Angeles County taxpayers, including our LGBTQ businesses and families, could not ask for a better advocate to serve as Assessor than Jeffrey Prang,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “From his service on the West Hollywood City Council to his tireless efforts this year to reduce the burden of Trump’s tax plan, Jeff has earned another term as Assessor.”

Assembly District 76

Equality California endorses Tasha Boerner Horvath for Assembly District 76, which includes Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista. Tasha is a third-generation Encinitan, businesswoman, community leader and mother, who currently serves on the Encinitas City Council. She has been endorsed by the California Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus, the San Diego Labor Council, San Diego Democrats for Equality and California Legislative LGBT Caucus Member Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), among others. A Navy veteran, Tasha has been an outspoken opponent of the Trump Administration’s attempt to ban transgender service members from the military. If elected, Tasha will continue to be a champion for the LGBTQ community and Californians living with HIV and AIDS.

“Tasha Boerner Horvath is the candidate that North County deserves to have representing them in Sacramento,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “On the Encinitas City Council, Tasha helped facilitate LGBTQ cultural competency trainings in our schools and was recognized by the Oceanside Pride Festival for her commitment to equality. In the Assembly, she’ll fight for quality, affordable health care for all and to make sure every child has an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Fullerton City Council – District 5

Equality California endorses Ahmad Zahra for Fullerton City Council – District 5. A Fullerton small business owner, Zahra is running for city council to revitalize the local economy and enact common-sense solutions to proactively address poverty and homelessness — including rising rates of homelessness among LGBTQ youth. And as an openly gay, Arab American immigrant, Zahra is focused on uniting Fullerton’s diverse communities and making sure the city’s government is working for all residents.

“We’re proud to support Ahmad Zahra’s campaign to represent District 5 on the Fullerton City Council,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “As Fullerton faces a deficit and rising levels poverty and homelessness, Ahmad will fight for the financial stability and smart investments that the city needs. And we’re excited for the fresh perspective he’ll bring to the Council as a member of Fullerton’s Arab American and LGBTQ communities.”

San Jose City Council

Equality California endorses Shay Franco-Clausen for San Jose City Council – District 9. A San Jose native now raising her own three children with her partner in District 9, Franco-Clausen serves as Vice Chair of the Santa Clara County Commission on the Status of Women and works to combat bullying, gender bias and bigotry as director of development and government relations for Silicon Valley FACES. If elected, she would prioritize combatting the city’s lack of affordable housing and homelessness crisis and working with the county and schools to advance equality for the city’s LGBTQ community and communities of color. Franco-Clausen was an organizer and keynote speaker for the Women’s March San Jose, which attracted over 35,000 marchers last year.

“San Jose is a diverse, progressive city that deserves diverse, progressive leaders like Shay Franco-Clausen,” said Rick Zbur, Executive Director of Equality California. “Shay’s passion for her city and experience as a community leader will make her an excellent addition to the San Jose City Council. She understands the challenges that working families, communities of color and our LGBTQ community face and will be a tireless advocate for common-sense solutions.”



Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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