First-term Dublin City Councilmember Shawn Kumagai became the Tri-Valley's first candidate to announce plans to run for California Assembly District 20 earlier this week.
"I'm running for Assembly because we need trusted leaders who have the experience and judgment to take on our community's biggest challenges and find solutions," Kumagai said in a statement on Tuesday. "The voters of Alameda County are looking for elected leaders with the proven ability to deliver solutions, and I am stepping up to serve."
Kumagai is seeking to replace outgoing Assemblymember Bill Quirk, who announced last month that he will not seek another two-year term this year, following a decade serving in the State Legislature. Quirk said he plans to work full time on climate change solutions.
Elected to the council in 2018, Kumagai is Dublin's first openly gay councilmember and the only Asian-American candidate so far running for the newly redrawn District 20, which includes the cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, Hayward, San Leandro and Union City, as well as the unincorporated Alameda County communities of Castro Valley, Fairview, San Lorenzo, Ashland, and Cherryland.
Prior to redistricting, Dublin and Pleasanton were both part of District 16, which is represented by Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda).
Currently the only candidate from the Tri-Valley, Kumagai is up against a field of contenders including Jennifer Esteen, Shay Franco Clausen and Liz Ortega. Among the issues that Kumagai said he plans to address are housing affordability and criminal justice reform, advocating for veterans, helping local businesses recover from the pandemic, and fighting anti-Asian violence and hate.
A third-generation Navy veteran and lifelong Democrat, Kumagai earned a bachelor's degree in Mandarin Chinese and a master's in instructional science and technology from CSU Monterey Bay. A workforce education specialist, Kumagai lives in Dublin with his husband Alex.
The statewide primary election will take place on June 7.