PALMDALE – At a press conference Wednesday morning, Palmdale City Councilman Tom Lackey formally announced his decision to run for the California State Assembly in June. Lackey will be running in Assembly District 36 for the seat vacated by Assemblyman Steve Knight who is seeking election to the State Senate.
Surrounded by his family and a crowd of about 20 supporters, including Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, Antelope Valley Republican Party Chairman Drew Mercy, and Palmdale Planning Commissioner Patricia Shaw, Lackey said he was hoping to restore confidence in the state’s economy.
“We need to return to the economic principles that made this state so great many years ago,” Lackey said. “We need to allow the state government to get out of the way.”
Lackey said, if elected, he would seek to reduce government restrictions, and shift the focus from entitlement to opportunity. He said he has taken a formal tax pledge to not increase taxes.
“That’s not the answer,” Lackey said. “The answer lies in creating more tax payers and creating an environment for success, that’s how we increase our revenues.”
Lackey also said he intended to focus on public education.
“One of the things that I would like to see happen is a restoration of vocational training,” He said. “We need to encourage and promote vocational opportunities as well as four year degrees.”
Lackey listed his credentials for public service, including 27 years of law enforcement experience with the California Highway Patrol, six years on the Palmdale School District Board, and serving as a Palmdale City Councilmember since 2005.
Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said Lackey’s commitment to the Antelope Valley, his diversity of experience, and his track record of being true to himself made Lackey the ideal choice for State Assembly.
“He’s a straightforward guy, he doesn’t play games, he tells you the way he sees it and yet he can advocate for something that he may not wholeheartedly agree with,” Ledford said. “That will help him in Sacramento, to be able to maybe engage in some dialogue that will advance our state in a way that we will prosper.”
Drew Mercy, Chairman of the Republican Party of the Antelope Valley, said Lackey’s ability to cut through artificial barriers and bring people together in order to get things done made him the perfect choice to send to Sacramento.
“You’ve got George Runner and Mayor Jim Ledford supporting the same candidate,” Mercy said. “You know what you call someone who has George Runner and Jim Ledford supporting them? You call that person the ‘Front Runner.’
In a press statement issued Wednesday, Board of Equalization Member George Runner called Lackey a “standup individual.”
“This is the kind of person that you can trust to do the right thing. We’re going to work very hard to see him make it to the Assembly,” Runner said.
Lackey said support for his campaign has been pouring in and he has already received more than $50,000 in pledges.
Lackey is running against Lancaster Vice Mayor Ron Smith and local attorney Steve Fox.
Lackey said he will run a clean campaign and said many people are tired of “the smear stuff.”
“I think that it’s disheartening and it causes people to draw back and not want to be engaged in the whole process… so you will not see that from me,” Lackey said. “I’m a loyal person.”
The 36th Assembly District includes the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County, The desert communities of Boron, California City, and Mojave in Kern County as well as Wrightwood and Pinon Hills in San Bernardino County.