Lackey runs for 5th term in Assembly

Assemblymember Tom Lackey speaks on the Elected Official Panel during the Regional Center Legislative Town Hall at Bella Vida SCV Senior Center on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, is running for reelection to the seat he currently occupies in the 36th Assembly District. He said he has drawn on his life experiences during his service in the state Assembly.  

A former California Highway Patrol officer, Lackey said he’s qualified to address the complex problem of driving under the influence. 

A bill he introduced this year would remove DUIs from the list of misdemeanors that would qualify for a diversion, which Lackey defined as “an alternative to criminal conviction” and allows offenders to avoid jail time. 

“(Gov. Gavin Newsom) even said that was a concern that he wanted to have fixed this year and so we tried to help him out because we shared his view on that particular matter,” he said, noting he plans to bring back that legislation, which failed in the state Senate. 

Lackey, a special education teacher before his 28-year career in law enforcement, also draws on that experience. 

“My experience…g ave me a perspective of compassion and awareness towards those who have unique challenges in their life,” he said. 

Advocacy and funding have been Lackey’s tools in his work to represent those who “still have so much to contribute to society, but because of their difficulties…(have) become discounted and almost invisible.” 

“They’re finally getting their funding restored to where it should be,” he said. “They’re the last ones to get their funding restored since 2008.” 

Lackey said he also finds the foster care system “very troubling,” noting the Antelope Valley has “an inordinate amount of kids in the system.” 

“We need some checks and balances to make sure that children are protected because, as it stands now, there’s some very strong vulnerabilities and children are not protected in the way that they need to be,” he said, noting the need to legislatively support the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services. 

First elected to the Assembly in 2014, Lacey is seeking a fifth term of office in 2022. 

“My district has a Democrat registration advantage, but I think what people want – what I’ve proven over the last several years – is that I tried to be balanced,” he said. “I’m not just a partisan individual. I believe that both parties, when they combine themselves and temper each other, we get the best outcome.” 

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