D — Assemblymember, 30th District; Candidate for State Senate, 12th District
Assemblymember Anna Caballero, a Democrat, is running for an open seat in the California State Senate from the 12th District, which covers a stretch of the Central Valley from Modesto to Fresno. The district includes all of San Benito and Merced County and parts of Madera, Monterey, and Stanislaus Counties. Anna currently holds the 30th Assembly District but is unable to run again due to term limits. She won her seat in 2016 with Govern for California’s help. If she wins she will be able to serve through 2026 in the State Senate
After graduating from UC San Diego and UCLA Law School, Anna moved to the Salinas Valley to work for California Rural Legal Assistance where she helped striking farm workers fight for rights and fair treatment. In 1982, she and three partners founded a law firm to provide quality, low cost legal representation. After an appointment to the Salinas Planning Commission, Anna was elected to the Salinas City Council in 1991 and in 1998 became the city’s first Latina mayor. As mayor, she worked to address budget problems and the city’s gang problem and to keep libraries open. In 2006, she was elected to the Assembly despite government employee union opposition. After two terms in the Assembly, she ran for the State Senate in 2010 against a Republican with substantial government employee union backing. He was also a uniquely formidable candidate as he is the son of a popular former Democratic Assemblyman. Punished for her record of independence and pragmatism (she even backed pension reform in her 2010 campaign), she narrowly lost. In 2011, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Anna to his cabinet as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.
Anna serves on the Aging and Long Term Care, Agriculture, Budget, Insurance, and Local Government Committees in the Assembly where she has developed a record of bipartisan cooperation. "I'm known as a moderate Democrat and I work very, very hard at that," she says. As chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee, Anna spoke out against the state pushing its budget problems down to the local level. Anna opposed funding state parks with a Vehicle License Fee increase, instead advocating cuts elsewhere in the budget to produce the necessary funds. In the legislature, Anna has served as an important advocate for education reform and fiscal responsibility in the Latino Caucus and the Moderate Democrats.
Party registration in SD12 is 46.3% Democratic, 28.7% Republican and 20.8% No Party Preference/Decline To State.. Anna is a good fit for the district because of her strong support from the agricultural community and the district is heavily Latino. In the primary, Anna will face at least two Republicans and a former Democratic Assemblyman backed by the unions. Anna’s biggest fight will be in the primary against the union backed Democrat but there will also be substantial spending in the general election as Republicans try to hold onto a seat they are losing to fundamental demographic shifts. Anna will prevail because she appeals to such a wide range of voters.