Ryan Gene Williams doing the Texas two-step in the 69th AD

Williams doing the Texas two step in the 69th Assembly District

Ryan Gene Williams, the intrepid college student who is taking on a whole slew of Democrats who are also vying for the 69th Assembly District, has a lot to smile about. His fundraising is picking up – and as a native of Texas he is getting a lot of checks from back home. In fact, he tells me that several newspapers in his home state are looking to follow his campaign as a human interest story.

Human interest indeed. Williams is everywhere nowadays, as he pursues electoral victory with a dogged determination no doubt acquired from his years living in a truly red state. He is also getting help from local Republican activists Tim Whitacre and Abie Garcia.

Williams so far has raised over $2,000 and another $500 is on the way. He has no primary opponent so far, so the field is clear. His enthusiasm is catching, and will be featured prominently in an article coming up in the Orange Coast College student newspaper. He is quickly becoming their most famous student!

Williams will probably end up facing Santa Ana Council Member Jose Solorio in the general election. Solorio has a lot of support from trade unions, but he upset a lot of Santa Ana residents by voting for the onerous One Broadway Plaza building that will eventually cast a long shadow over most of downtown Santa Ana, and no doubt snarl traffic forever with an estimated 6,000 cars that will be brought to town by purported tenants, some time down the road. Even worse, the developer behind that project, Mike Harrah, signed a project labor agreement effectively shutting non-union labor out of the deal. Bad move Mike – less than 15% of Latino workers are unionized. Oops…

Santa Ana is a politically schizophrenic town, and it comprises a good chunk of the 69th Assembly District. Most of the residents are Latino, and Democrat, but a majority of local voters supported Arnold Schwarzenegger against Gray Davis. And they also recalled union favorite Nativo Lopez. They have also sent conservative Republican Rosie Avila to the Santa Ana School Board many times, with some of the biggest electoral margins in the history of the city. Who knows, perhaps Williams might find that the money sent to his campaign from friends back home might just be enough for him to run a guerrilla campaign, piggy-backing on other overlapping campaigns, such as that of the increasingly popular Van Tran, in the 34th State Senate race, and Rosie Avila, over in the 47th Congressional District.

Williams may yet find away to bring some of the red state values he grew up with to the only blue Assembly District in Orange County. To find out more about his campaign, go to http://www.ryangene.com/.


About Art Pedroza