Friday, April 16, 2010

Arcata Republican Karen Brooks kicks off campaign to challenge Chesbro in 1st District

Arcata Republican Karen Brooks kicks off campaign to challenge Chesbro in 1st District
Trumpeting her outsider status, Arcata Republican Karen Brooks kicked off her campaign to become California's next 1st District Assemblymember at an event Thursday.

”We're here today to start a revolution,” Brooks told a crowd of several dozen supporters at the event.

Referring to herself as a soccer mom, taxpayer, voter and woman of faith, Brooks told several dozen supporters at the event that she plans to bring common sense solutions to Sacramento.

”It's time to take this seat back and give it to real people,” Brooks said, adding that knows she's facing a political machine in the Democratic party, which is backing incumbent Wesley Chesbro. “The stakes are high. I'm against a big machine. This machine has been in office since 1990. It doesn't matter what the face is, they just cycle them through.”

Just as Brooks isn't the average candidate, Thursday's event wasn't the average campaign kick-off. It began with the Pledge of Allegiance, an invocation prayer and a rousing rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and ended with a Dutch apple pie being raffled off, which fetched $110 for the campaign.

Brooks' husband, Mark McGowen, introduced the candidate at the event with a quick joke. He said he heard the other day that McDonald's has a new meal deal coming out called the “Obama Meal.”
”The way it works is you drive up, order whatever you want and the guy behind you has to pay,” McGowen said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

Once on stage, Brooks spoke for about 15 minutes before taking a variety of questions from the audience. Brooks said that, as a legislator, she will focus on growing the economy and creating jobs. She said she will approach every piece of legislation by asking: Is it constitutional? Is it good for the 1st District? Is it good for the state? Does it reduce the size of government? And, is it revenue neutral?

Brooks said she knows she faces a big challenge in trying to unseat Chesbro, and said she routinely hears doubts about her chances on the campaign trail.

”I'm in it to win it,” she said. “I'm a bull terrier dog on someone's pant legs, and I'm not letting go.”

Thadeus Greenson can be reached at 441-0509 or