As reported in an earlier post today, Republican Robert Hammond has withdrawn from the race for the 69th Assembly District, according to the OC Political Blog. He is running instead for the Orange County Board of Education, in the First Area, which is being vacated by the incumbent, Long Pham.
Hammond is an extremist social conservative. He is anti-immigrant and anti-gay. He would be very much like former O.C. BOE Trustee Alexandria Coronado, who got the boot the last time she ran, after she made anti-gay comments.
You will note in Hammond’s press release, included below, that he is obsessed with stopping SB 48, a bill regarding school curriculum to include gay history. He does not talk about graduation or dropout rates, funding, or anything else that really matters to those of us with kids in public schools.
Pham’s last minute exit means, I believe, that other candidates have until March 14, to file for the First District on the O.C. BOE. The First District includes Santa Ana and is a majority Latino seat.
The other candidates who pulled papers include Ken Nguyen, a Democrat who serves on the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commission.
Here is Hammond’s press release:
Robert Hammond Enters Orange County Board of Education Race
SANTA ANA, CA – At the urging of conservative activists and leaders across the county, Robert Morris Hammond has entered the race for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1. The seat is being vacated by the incumbent, fellow conservative Republican Long Pham, who is now running for the 72nd Assembly District.
“Education has always been one of my great passions. After completing my service in the United States Marine Corps and earning my college degrees, I became a teacher,” Hammond said. “I’ve taught in special education, English Immersion classes, teacher training programs, and adult literacy courses.”
Hammond has long campaigned on education issues, emphasizing faith, family, and freedom. He has also worked on efforts to overturn SB 48. As an Orange County Board of Education member, Hammond will be able to fight the implementation of SB 48 in the schools overseen by the OCBE. SB 48 and increasing career technical education had been two major issues that drove Hammond to run for office.
“It is with great reluctance that I withdraw from the 69th Assembly District race, but after Dr. Pham filed for the 72nd Assembly District on Thursday, numerous conservatives urged me to enter the race for Dr. Pham’s seat,” Hammond added. “We were all concerned that Dr. Pham’s seat could fall into liberal hands, and with Trustee Area 1 covering much the same territory as AD-69, many concerned conservative citizens and leaders asked me to consider entering the race for the Orange County Board of Education, which I have now done. I look forward to a vigorous campaign and victory in June.”
Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1 covers Santa Ana, Tustin, Garden Grove (east of Beach Boulevard), and Fountain Valley (east of the 405 freeway).