Danville Express

Newsfront - July 13, 2007

Buchanan declares she's running for state Assembly

Trustee makes announcement at Fourth of July Parade

by Jordan M. Doronila

School Trustee Joan Buchanan declared her intention to run in the Democratic primary for California Assembly District 15 as she marched in the Danville Fourth of July Parade with followers who carried signs reading, "Joan for Assembly 2008." She walked behind the San Ramon Valley Democrats, at their invitation.

"I care very deeply about people," said Buchanan, 54, an Alamo resident. "I know government can make a difference."

The 15th District covers Danville, Alamo, Livermore, San Ramon, Walnut Creek, Brentwood, Discovery Bay and part of Pleasanton.

Assemblyman Guy Houston, who represents District 15, will be termed out in 2008.

Buchanan has been on the San Ramon Valley Unified School Board of Education for more than 16 years. She has helped the school district recover from financial woes, expand its schools, and improve its academic curriculum.

Continuing to be a strong voice for children in schools, alleviating traffic, lessening global warming and improving healthcare are her main goals, said Buchanan. Her experience as a trustee will help her improve the quality of life for residents in Contra Costa County, she said.

"I can go and really do a good job and make a difference for all people in the 15th District," she said.

Former Danville airline pilot Steve Filson, 60, also declared his desire to become assemblyman at last week's parade. He ran in the Democratic primaries for the 11th Congressional seat for a chance to defeat Republican incumbent Richard Pombo in 2006, and was supported by U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher. However, Jerry McNerney won the Democratic primary and went on to win the Congressional seat in November 2006.

Filson has worked as a pilot, flight operations manager, health insurance consultant and a precinct volunteer. He said his managerial experience, negotiating expertise and insight in the health industry would make him an effective lawmaker in Sacramento.

"I feel I have very good management skills and background that makes me very effective," Filson said. "I'm a very good mediator and I can build consensus."

He said his goals include creating better healthcare, prison reform and efficient and safer transportation. He also said protecting the environment is one of his objectives.

Danville electrician Stevan Thomas, 54, will run in the Democratic primary for Assembly, too. He also ran in the primaries last year to unseat Pombo.

He said people need to be concerned about the state of the U.S. economy and its relation to California and water and the environment. He said he supports local farm growth to cut back on burning oil and other wasteful excesses.

"We face a lot of big issues," he said.

Thomas hails from Toledo, Ohio, and moved to California when he was 9. He lived in San Francisco, Alameda and Oakland before moving to Danville. He said his mother, Terry Pimsleur, started the Danville Arts Fair as well as the Art and Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay. He decided to run because he was displeased with the current condition of the United States.

"The country was headed in absolutely the wrong direction," he said.

"(My concerns are) the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the middle class."

Contact Jordan M. Doronila at jdoronila@DanvilleWeekly.com

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