A fourth Democratic Party candidate has entered the race to represent California’s 36th Assembly District, which is a seat currently held by Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale.
Eric Ohlsen announced his intention to campaign for the Assembly seat, which encompasses parts of Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Currently working as a producer and creative consultant, Ohlsen said he decided to run because he believes a progressive candidate is the only one who can get the district to flip in 2020.
“I’ve been talking to all the field organizers and activists to see if there was going to be a progressive candidate to step up and run, because a 9-point advantage over Republican voters is not enough to flip this district,” Ohlsen said. “In fact, there’s more independents than Republicans, which has helped Lackey maintain his seat because independents tend to vote Republican more often than not.”
Ohlsen joins Steve Fox, Johnathon Ervin and Ollie McCaulley as the Democratic candidates looking to challenge Lackey in 2020, but Ohlsen said Tuesday he’s the only “progressive” candidate in the race.
“I’m ready to run. I’m ready to fight,” Ohlsen said, before speaking on the issues he will focus on if elected.
“We need more entry-level and skilled jobs and one of the ways to do that is to fight for a four-year university that will offer a degree in aerospace,” Ohlsen said, adding, “It’s not fair that we have to send our population away just to get educated.”
Ohlsen said he would push for a University of California or California State University institution in the district, and he believes tuition should be free so people aren’t entering the workforce saddled by debt and can better contribute to the economy.
Ohlsen also said he feels the district has an opportunity to become a leader in renewable energy.
“This area has a lot of wind and a lot of sunshine and I think that’s the best way to create those entry-level and skilled jobs,” Ohlsen said. “Climate change is an emergency, so we have to do something immediately, and, at the same time, we also need jobs so why not have one solution for both problems.”