More importantly, he is the first assembly Republican to represent the fiscally conservative region in Sacramento in twenty-two years. Most importantly of all, South Bay voters have a non-politician representing them who cares about local control, good schools, and economic growth geared toward helping small businesses, individual consumers, and home owners.
I am certain that Governor Brown had to drink something to settle his nerves. With Hadley's win in the 66th Assembly District, the South Bay GOP gave a serious shock to the Sacramento system. Brown has lost his Democratic super-majority in the state assembly as well as the state senate. His prized, vetted, and groomed Democratic candidate, incumbent Al Muratsuchi, along with Brown's union-funded machine lost to a local businessman relying on individual donations within his district. Hadley carried the clear message of helping business and improving schools, to goals which the former Assemblyman could not deliver on his promises for local control and strong funding.
Myopic cynics will posit that Hadley only eked out a victory by 706 votes. Extensive background information is essential to understand that the small margin is actually a big win.
The South Bay GOP has been in disarray, either because of arbitrary gerrymandering or intra-party conflict for thirty-years. A lack of coordination among local leaders, plus state party neglect, allowed Democrats to pick up seats in an otherwise conservative region of the state. With Hadley's win, that is no longer the case.
By the way, Schroeder was the guy who told me about all the oil money that Muratsuchi was getting. Talk about Democratic hypocrisy.
So, South Bay (and Sacramento) Democrats had Big Business, Big Labor, and their Big Government agenda in full force, and yet the Republican candidate, David Hadley, beat down the Machine.
Once again, there is a very clear reason why Governor Brown has the drink in his hand.
At this time, Hadley has joined a fragile yet larger minority in the state assembly. Once again, critics will claim that the new Republican assemblyman will have little influence. No one can doubt that Democratic leaders will pull every stunt to make his two-year tenure difficult. Nevertheless, voters already sent a message to Sacramento, and the momentum is against Democratic special interest pandering and government micromanaging.
As for Hadley's future prospects, if time and resources prove difficult for California voters, and the frustration with stagnant economic growth animates otherwise apathetic residents, and the Republican Party brings out a solid Presidential candidate, Hadley will not only have his place secure for another two years, but will find more like-minded colleagues assisting him, the South Bay, and the state of California to recover its finances, restore its former luster, and resurrect a welcoming business climate and educational system.
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
Twitter -- @ArthurCSchaper