John Laird

The former secretary of natural resources and three-term Assembly member for Santa Cruz announced his candidacy for State Senate to represent Scotts Valley and SLV.

John Laird announced Jan. 17 that he will run for the 17th State Senate District, which includes Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties as well as parts of Monterey and Santa Clara counties. The current state senator, Bill Monning, D-Carmel, is termed out in 2020 and cannot run again.

Laird was elected to the 27th Assembly District in 2002 and served until 2008. In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown made him the secretary of natural resources, an office he held for the rest of Brown’s tenure in office.

He lives in Santa Cruz and has also served on the city council and as mayor there.

“I’m running for the State Senate because I want to build on that leadership to protect and invest in the Central Coast and California during these difficult times – not just in the area of natural resources, but also with critical priorities including health care, education, the economy and housing,” Laird wrote in a news release. “Specifically, I pledge to work on major challenges including: the impact of a changing climate on California; affordability for the middle class; providing health care to all; providing adequate support for education; adequate and affordable housing; wild fires as California’s “new normal”; protecting California’s leadership in ocean policy; embracing and protecting California’s diversity; and fighting for the needs of the Central Coast.”

Laird has launched a campaign website where voters can learn more about him at

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