Re-elect State Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva to keep AD-65 on the right track.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a four-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.
About the District
California's 65th Assembly District includes parts of Orange County. This is a historically red district that flipped blue when Sharon Quirk-Silva won in 2012. It went back to red in 2014, when she lost her incumbency, and then back to blue when she won again in 2016. The most recent election results show AD-65 voted for Clinton for president in 2016 and Newsom for governor in 2018.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Sharon Quirk-Silva led Republican challenger Cynthia Thacker by a margin of 15.4 percent. Quirk-Silva’s campaign has raised $529,123.99. Her campaign has not committed to refusing corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money, and has accepted funds from all three groups. No FEC filings have been made for Thacker’s campaign, and she is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County and the California Republican Party.
About the Candidate
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva moved to Fullerton when she was two, attended Orange County public schools, earned her bachelor's degree from Fullerton College and UCLA, and her teaching credential from CSU Fullerton. Quirk-Silva defeated a Republican incumbent for this seat in 2012, but lost her bid for re-election in 2014 to Republican Young Kim. She ran again in 2016, defeated Kim, and has served in this seat since. According to campaign materials, Quirk-Silva is running to keep working on education, climate, and economic issues that affect the state of California.
In the State Assembly, Quirk-Silva authored a fee waiver bill that allows the homeless to receive an ID and a copy of their birth certificate without paying for them. Quirk Silva served as chair of the Assembly Jobs Committee and secured $23 million for small businesses. Quirk-Silva currently sits on the Assembly Higher Education Committee and the Communications and Conveyance Committee. Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Quirk-Silva served on the Fullerton City Council starting in 2004 and was elected mayor in 2007.
Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s priorities for AD-65 this year include increased funding for schools, expanding the economy, public safety, and expanding access to affordable health care. She currently sits on thirteen committees, including the standing committee on Housing and Community Development and the select committees on Foster Care and Student Debt. Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva has sponsored two bills about housing and homelessness this year. She scores 49 out of 100 on Courage Score, our annual analysis of legislators’ progressive voting records. Based on our Courage Score analysis, Quirk-Silva generally votes progressive for bills that address California’s education system and climate change. That said, she has abstained from voting on policies that could help solve other issues, including police transparency.
Prior to her election to the State Assembly, Assemblymember Quirk-Silva worked as a teacher in the Fullerton School District. She is a longtime supporter of affordable housing, quality education, and access to physical and mental-health services.
Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva is endorsed by many progressive groups in the district. That said, she is also endorsed by police groups. However, the threat of Republican challenger and strong Trump supporter Thacker’s potential policies greatly outweighs Quirk-Silva’s moderate voting record and decisions regarding police accountability. Although we disagree with her relationships with the police, her district is vulnerable to flipping red. According to our analysis, Sharon Quirk-Silva is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.