Susan Christopher, a former Castaic Union School District board member, announced Wednesday her campaign’s launch for Assemblywoman Christy Smith’s seat in the upcoming 2020 election.
The start of her run for the 38th Assembly District, which covers the Santa Clarita and Simi valleys, comes with a strong focus on education and with the endorsement of incumbent Smith, D-Santa Clarita. Christopher said she hopes to continue the work of the current state legislator.
“It’s clear that Christy has done an extraordinary job representing the people of the 38th District,” Christopher said in a statement. “She has effectively gotten past partisan politics to really get the work of our district done. I want to be sure that continues for our district when Christy is elected to serve in Congress.”
Smith, who is serving her first term and was running for re-election, launched her campaign in late October for California’s 25th Congressional District after former Democrat Rep. Katie Hill resigned.
In a prepared statement, Smith said Christopher “understands the everyday challenges facing the people” of the district and she is “confident Susan Christopher will be a leader who represents all communities of the 38th District.”
Castaic resident Christopher, who filed paperwork just before Wednesday’s deadline, is running as a Democrat alongside four others of the same party and two Republicans, including Acton resident Suzette Martinez Valladares, who previously was running for the 25th Congressional District before switching to the Assembly race in September.
With education at the top of her campaign focus, Christopher said Wednesday increasing school funding would be among the first tasks she would take on if elected.
“The 38th district has always taken education seriously and it’s something why people move to the 38th district, and I think it’s important to continue that focus,” she said. “I’d like to look at school funding and I want to make sure our teachers are set up for success in however that may look like.”
Christopher, a mother of two, is a former educator and served on the Castaic district’s board for nine years. She is the current director of the nonprofit LoveSCV, which helps connect local resources to SCV resource centers and schools.
Besides education, she emphasized the protection of small businesses, a strong middle class and fire and safety efforts among her top campaign issues.
“We need to make sure that government is running efficiently, and that our hard-earned money is going to the things we care most about – like affordable living, excellent and fully funded schools, accessible higher education, the ability to care for our families, protecting clean air and water, as well as public safety investments to keep our schools and our community safe,” she said.