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Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern To Run For Chávez's Assembly Seat

Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern is pictured in this undated photo.
Katie Schoolov
Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern is pictured in this undated photo.

Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern To Run For Chávez's Assembly Seat
Oceanside Republican City Councilman Jerry Kern will run for the 76th California State Assembly seat to be vacated by Rocky Chávez next year.

Oceanside Republican City Councilman Jerry Kern said Friday he will run for the California State Assembly.

Kern hopes to follow in the political footsteps of a Republican colleague, another former Oceanside city councilman, Rocky Chávez, who is making a bid for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Chávez will have to give up the 76th Assembly District seat next year after less than two full terms, in order to run for Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat.

RELATED: Oceanside’s Rocky Chávez And His Long-Shot Bid For The U.S. Senate

Kern has served on the Oceanside City Council for nine years. He was just re-elected for a third term last November, so he can keep his seat while he makes the bid for state office. He said he has much in common with Chávez, especially an interest in education. They worked together on a charter school Kern started in Oceanside.

“I’ve always been a fiscal conservative, I’m probably more socially moderate," Kern said. “I can probably be more effective for the people of Oceanside and North County at the state level.”

The 76th Assembly District runs from Camp Pendleton to Encinitas. A majority of its registered voters are Republican. The Democrats did not run a candidate in the last two elections.

Kern said he knows he would be in the minority in Democratic-controlled Sacramento, but that doesn’t deter him.

“I would work on those issues that I could work on,” he said. “Water is a bipartisan issue, or a non-partisan issue really, and I think water is going to be really resolved in recycle/reuse projects so we maximize every drop of water that we get."

Kern estimated he would need to raise $300,000 to be competitive in the Assembly race, a considerable jump from the $75,000 he raised to win his Oceanside City Council seat. He plans to visit Sacramento in the coming month to start soliciting support from interest groups like the building and construction industries.

Other Republicans are likely to jump into the race, he said, once it becomes clear Chávez’s Senate bid is a go.