Longtime Murrieta Valley Unified School District board member Kenneth "K.C." Dickson has gone public that there is a strong possibility he will enter the race for the 66th District State Assembly seat once the final redistricting map is drawn.
The proposed redistricting puts Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and Canyon Lake together in the 66th District. Currently, the district encompasses Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Murrieta and Temecula, then travels south to northeastern San Diego County, covering Valley Center and Julian, among other communities.
"We don't know where the district is going to be, but I like my chances just because of the shape, and the concentration of conservative Republicans," Dickson said.
In 2010, Dickson, 62, of Murrieta, sought the 36th State Senate seat. He received about 20 percent of the vote in what he called a "very large" district, stretching from Murrieta and Temecula south to most of San Diego County on the east side of Interstate 15.
Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone received about 30 percent of the vote, and 40 percent of the vote won the election for Joel Anderson, R-Alpine.
"They both spent over $600,000 each; I spent $100,000 and got a quarter of the votes for that," he said.
Back home where he is known, Dickson thinks his chances for garnering public faith in his ability to take his public service to a new level at the State Assembly are good.
Also announcing exploratory campaigns for the seat are Phil Paule, district director for U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista; and Bob Magee, mayor pro tem of the City of Lake Elsinore. Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, currently holds the State Assembly seat but will reach the end of his term limits by 2012.
"I am prepared for that level of public service--to enhance the prospects for a very special district, to enhance the business climate through my experience," Dickson said.
Dickson, an attorney and retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, has served on the school board since 1998. He professes a belief in lifelong learning to build strong communities, at home and at large. Besides serving on the school board, Dickson teaches a Foundations of Law course at Mt. San Jacinto College's Temecula campus as part of a program that prepares students for jobs as paralegals.
He said his experience in the Military, where he served as a judge's advocate, gives him the knowledge it takes to understand the inner workings of government.
"The role of a Military counsel is similar to the counsel for a small city," he said, adding that he has also taught immigration law and environmental law.
Dickson said it would be a sacrifice to spend time away from home at the State Capitol, because "it is such a wonderful place to live."
"But it would be so that my children would want to come back to California."
Dickson's two children went through Murrieta Valley High School, where both were valedictorians of their respective classes. He is married to his life partner, Susan, who worked for many years as a kindergarten teacher and now works for the Riverside County Office of Education.
The Dicksons moved to Murrieta in 1992 when Ken took a job at March Air Force Base in Moreno Valley.
"I was smart enough to win and woo her," he said about his wife, attributing his children's smarts to their mother.
He bills himself as a conservative Republican, and should his campaign materialize, he hopes to take the Republican primary for the seat.