Assembly District 5




SelfIdentifiedFemale (SIF) OtherthanSIF (OSIF)

5 Elaine Hagen No SIF
5 Kim-Ellen Monson No SIF
5 Deborah Baron No SIF
5 Daniel Stephenson No OSIF
5 Sarah Saunders No SIF
5 Michelle Pechette No SIF
5 Michael Saunders * OSIF
5 Aletha R Nelligan No SIF
5 Nichole Rice No SIF
5 Dana Baker No SIF
5 James Lex Bufford No OSIF
5 Julie C Robinson No SIF
5 Edna Raridan No OSIF
5 John Savage No OSIF
5 Lauren Singer No SIF
5 Celeste Alicia Boggs No SIF
5 Paul Slemmons No OSIF
5 Olga Garcia No SIF
5 Martha Garcia No SIF
5 Violeta Grimaldo No SIF
5 Felipe Grimaldo * OSIF
5 Santos Garcia No OSIF
5 Amy Champ * SIF
5 Artemio Villegas No OSIF
5 Sarah Ottley No SIF
5 Matilda Villafan No SIF
5 Joshua Lewis No OSIF
5 Anita D Evans No SIF

Candidate Statements

I’m Elaine Hagen from Tuolumne County. I’m a passionately pro-active progressive ‘boots-on-the-ground’ grassroots rural activist. The Environment and Health care are my primary issues. I demand a Green New Deal and Medicare For All.

In my careers, I’ve consistently been an educator and advocate: Registered Nurse, Certified Childbirth Educator, school librarian and community organizer.

I’m on Tuolumne County’s Sierra Club executive committee, and helped found People’s Environmental Network: Sonora.

I strive to inspire, educate and activate. I’m respected as a get-the-job-done Community Organizer. I’m heavily involved with the Tuolumne County Democratic Club, our Democratic Women’s Coalition, and am Vice Chair of our Democratic Central Committee. I’ve been a DSCC delegate since 2017, and attended all conventions since then.

I’m unapologetically progressive.

During 2016 and 2020 I made over 5,000 phone calls for Bernie; in 2020 I volunteered full time as part of Bernie’s Slack phonebank team. I served as whip for Kimberly Ellis in 2017 and 2019. I support and will continue fighting for their goals.

In 2020 I helped flip our Board of Supervisors Blue. I’ve been actively fighting to replace Tom McClintock: volunteering full time serving as a Sierra Forward team leader, County coordinator for Bob Derlet’s 2016 campaign, Jessica Morse in 2018, and Brynne Kennedy in 2020.

I made thousands of calls for those candidates, but more importantly, motivated & trained volunteers to take action. I forged valuable connections and skills I’ll use as your advocate.

I see my delegate role like a pipeline, ensuring a 2 way flow of communication between the CDP and the community.

I believe the CDP must:

Educate, motivate and devote resources; particularly in Red, Rural California. The Party rares focuses time or resources here. We must change that: We should matter.

Prioritize, support and represent our working people, NOT special interests.

Stop taking Big donations from groups that don’t reflect our values.

Be Transparent. Disclose consulting contracts and lobbying efforts.

Listen to, and collaborate with grassroots activists so that the CDP becomes the Party that reflects our values.

If you want this kind of representation, I ask, and thank you for your vote.

Elaine Hagen

Deborah Baron, 19130 Huron Drive, Twain Harte, 95383.

I have worked for the Democratic Party locally for 5 years. In addition to being a member of the Tuolumne County Democratic Central Committee I was also Chair and Vice Chair of the county’s Democratic Club. I am also the founding member of the Tuolumne County Democratic Women’s Coalition. Politics has been an interest and passion for me since I was a child. Most teen girls have pictures of famous singers or actors, I had pictures of political figures on my bedroom wall. I credit my parents with instilling this passion in me and I have raised my children and even their friends to be aware and active in politics.

I am a retired mother of 3, grandmother of 4. My professional career as a Purchasing and Contracts Manager in a variety of industries and business from start ups to worldwide corporations in both private and public entities, including government contracts gives me a wide view of how organizations are run.

I was born in Canada and became an American citizen so I could become active in politics. As a native of Canada I know how effective and important affordable health care is- we can and should have a similar health care system here.

The environment is a critical issue for me and the world I want my family to live in. If we don’t address Climate Change, nothing else will matter.

I learned during these past few years that many people do not know how the Democratic Party works, how candidates are selected, especially how money works within our election system. I would like to be a louder voice for our community and coordinate with other groups like, our newly formed local Women’s League of Voters.

If elected to this position, I promise to represent my community in their stated preferences rather than voting for what I want, I will listen to the community and support the candidates and issues of the community at large

I look forward to a new, Trump free White House, Democratic Biden run administration. Joe Biden’s election is just step one in resolving and working on issues that are pertinent to our local community. A huge source of optimism for me is our almost brand Board of Directors. The potential to make significant progress is in our hands. I hope to help in moving our community towards a more friendly community that includes all residents.

Thank you

Deborah Baron

My name is Daniel Stephenson, a 32 year-old activist in El Dorado County, and the current Executive Vice Chair. I became politically involved in 2008 during the Obama campaign and have continued my activism ever since. When I came onboard my local DCC, I was only 1 of 3 new, younger voices on that Central Committee. During the past 12 years, my focus has been on pushing the state and local party to be more progressive and more open to younger activists. To that end, I have also co-formed the regional Young Democrats club, the Sierra Foothills Young Democrats (based out of El Dorado, Placer and Amador Counties, looking to expand further into CA04).

I have also been very focused on helping grow and retool the local Democratic Party and defeating incumbent congressman Tom McClintock. In 2018, I knocked nearly 4200 doors for Jessica Morse and in 2020, I canvassed my neighborhood for Brynne Kennedy. I have also worked on presidential (Obama, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren), assembly, state senate, statewide, and local/regional campaigns.

As we move past the Trump era, we, as a party, need to decide what direction we want to take, what we want the CA Democratic Party to stand for. My purpose is to make sure that this party cares not only about the blue bastions, but also, those of us deep in Trump country. But I don’t believe, as many do, that to be competitive in these districts, that we have to sacrifice our values/beliefs. To that end, I will also fight to ensure that the CA Democratic Party adheres to, and holds our candidates to, our stated values (inclusion, social and economic justice-M4A/BLM/etc, environmental justice-Green New Deal). These values have guided my past 12 years of activism where I have been, not only a local party activist, but a DSCC delegate.

So, I humbly ask for your vote to allow me to continue to represent rural, young, progressive and POC voices in our community at the state party level.

Daniel Stephenson

I’m Sarah Saunders, from Cool, in El Dorado County.

I am a proud member and unit Nurse Rep of the California Nurses Association, a co-chair of the El Dorado Progressives, a founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America Central Sierra Foothills and Vice-chair of the chapter, and a regular seated member of the El Dorado County Democratic Central Committee.

I believe in, have fought for, and will continue to fight for:

Single payer healthcare for all, including continuing the fight for California to lead the way on this by supporting the CalCare Guaranteed Healthcare for All state campaign.

Extending public education to include a college degree from state universities.

Childcare and eldercare assistance for working families.

Affordable housing for all.

Environmental protection and regulation.

I am asking for your vote to continue to work for rural broadband and cellular service that covers all of our counties, to pursue local control of our power supply, to advocate for water rights for all, and to preserve and protect our environment.

And I will continue to work to support workers who want to form unions to have collective power to negotiate better working conditions.

I am asking for your vote for me, and for ALL the delegates of the AD05 Progressive slate! I pledge to you that I will not vote to endorse any candidate who does not support the CADEM platform which actually includes all of the Progressive goals that I high-lighted above.

We need progressive delegates to endorse progressive candidates to fight for the policies and programs that will benefit all of us, and not just the privileged few; and we need to hold candidates accountable to the CADEM platform that we have worked to create.

Video statement:

Sarah Saunders

I am Michael Saunders and I am running to be an Executive Board Representative for our Assembly District. I am from El Dorado County. I am currently an elected official, President of my Water District’s Board (GDPUD). I am the Vice-Chair for Membership and Education on my County’s Central Committee, and a Co-Chair for Civil Rights Now, a workgroup with the El Dorado Progressives. I am a member of our Rural, Progressive, and African-American Caucuses.

I am running to represent the needs of our District. As a delegate, I have and if elected will continue to support candidates and resolutions which reflect our needs in AD 5. Needs such as Wildfire insurance protection, relief for tree removals, district-wide access to reliable cellular service and high-speed internet; protection and sustainability of our water system; healthcare and drug cost reforms; affordable education; protection of our public lands; and in this time of COVID working for protection of small businesses and local government agencies.

As an Eboard representative, I gave testimony for the problems we face in our District with the ADEM process – asking for additional locations, and asking for vote by mail balloting.

I will listen and deliver the voices of our community to the State and will provide information and education back to our District, delegates, and voters.

Michael E Saunders

My first exposure to politics was the improvement to our lives brought about by Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. I grew up in poverty in rural East Texas without indoor plumbing or almost anything else. As a child I realized government could help people. I did not get to attend college until my late 20s, graduating in May 1984 with a degree in political science and dreams of working in government. Two weeks later I was hired as media liaison on a state senate campaign. For the next next six months, I witnessed dirty politics on both sides and decided I would rather teach government than work in it. That is what I did for the next twenty-five years. Still, I was an active Democrat, serving as Precinct Chair several years and poll watching. It was easy to be involved in the Democratic Party in Texas because there were so few of us. My husband and I moved to California in 2001, and in 2013 we retired and moved to South Lake Tahoe where we discovered the SLT Democratic Club. Now, I am starting my second year as Vice Chair of the Club. We have a dedicated and active group. We participate in community service activities and are so pleased that our two endorsed candidates were recently elected to the SLT City Council. I am convinced that our work in support of Brynne Kennedy’s recent campaign for Congress played a significant role in increasing the number of Democratic votes in that race. I have time to give and am willing to do whatever is needed to strengthen our party, get more people involved, and elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

Aletha Nelligan

My name is Nichole Trujillo Rice and I am a long time labor activist living in South Auburn with my partner and two daughters. I started with my Union (The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 8-GS) in 2008 and am currently the Political and Legislative Director. Most of my professional legislative career is centered around advocating for working people within the retail grocery, whole sale meat processing, pharmacy, wine and legal cannabis industries. Additionally, I am focused on helping elect pro working family and progressive candidates within our jurisdiction (OR border to the Grape Vine).

I am passionate about building strong, progressive coalitions and strive to engage new activists and leaders always. I am the Principal Officer of the North Valley Labor Federation, AFL-CIO (which covers San Joaquin, Calaveras, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced and Mariposa Counties), Executive Board member of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO (covering Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Amador, El Dorado and Nevada Counties) and an Executive Board member of the Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Before moving to Auburn in late 2016, I lived in East Sacramento and was the President of the Women Dems of Sacramento County. I am an alumni of the New Leaders Council (Sacramento Chapter) and currently sit on their Advisory Board.

My hope is to become more involved with my local Democratic Central Committee and local progressive activists. My professional career takes my focus to many areas of the State and I would love to have the opportunity to do more locally. I humbly ask for your vote and thank EACH OF YOU FOR BEING AN ACTIVIST! 🙂

Nichole Trujillo Rice

Hi, I’m Dana Baker and I’m running on the Progressive Slate to be one of AD-5’s 14 Assembly District Delegates for the CA Democratic Party. Thank you for paying attention to this important local election!

Video statement here:


I am from Tuolumne County, I’m 30 years old, and with a career in accounting and education in math, I bring problem-solving, organizational, and analytical skills to my activism.

I served as one of our region’s 2 elected Bernie delegates to the 2020 DNC where I organized a VP endorsement list elevating 3 progressive Black women as well as coordinated and hosted a M4A panel for our alt-DNC event to promote the ideals of Bernie’s campaign.

I left my job in tech in September to volunteer full-time for the most crucial local 2020 elections: Brynne Kennedy for Congress, where I ran 12-hour phonebank sessions every weekend, and as Campaign Manager for Jaron Brandon for Tuolumne County Supervisor, where we defeated the Republican incumbent by a huge margin in a red county.

I also recently co-founded a mutual aid effort for this area, with our initial campaign of providing grocery store gift cards to unhoused community members for hot food and supplies well underway.


As a delegate, I would focus on what I see as the 3 most urgent issues facing our rural area:

Climate Crisis – Indigenous guidance for regional wildfire management, public ownership and conservation of freshwater resources, and sustainable agriculture practices toward climate-insulated food security and environmental justice from industry pollution.

Healthcare – Whether it’s covid, cancer, preventative care, or anything else, all healthcare must be made free at the point of service, as is done around the world, especially during a pandemic. Additionally, people need to be paid to stay home as a public health measure and essential workers need pay increases.

Economic Justice – Combating inequality by taxing obscene wealth, raising wages, guaranteeing benefits, and ensuring affordable housing, thus reducing suffering and stimulating the economy, especially in rural areas.

I take the responsibility of serving my home community very seriously, and humbly ask for one of your votes for AD-5 Assembly District Delegate.

Thank you again for your attention and engagement in local politics.

In solidarity,

Dana Baker

Let me introduce myself, I am James Lex Bufford. I live in Madera County. I have served on the Madera County Democratic Central Committee since 2004, and as past president of the Madera Democratic Club for many years. Currently I am a state party delegate .

I am running for delegate to represent all the people of the 5th Assembly District. I consider myself to be a moderate Democrat, fiscally responsible, socially liberal. I’ve been in small business for over 40 years and I am very concerned with the future of small business and the future of our environment.

In 2004 I was the Democratic Candidate for the United States House of Representatives 19th Congressional District . In 2006 I was the California Democratic Party Candidate for the 25th Assembly District. I ran a grass roots campaign and received 34% of the vote. Both districts cover much of the same territory as does the 5th A.D.

A assembly race, though not as glamorous as a congressional race is equally important . I intend to concentrate on winning down ballot races. My home county of Madera has the potential to swing the 2022 , 5th A.D. election. That is the objective.

Thank you for your vote and support.

James Lex Bufford

I am wanting to experience a greater involvement in our democratic process. After living in a violent dictatorship I am fascinated by The People Voice.

Julie C. Robinson

I am a progressive and I would like to see more progressives on the ballot.

Edna Raridan

Hello, I am John Savage, and I am running to be a Delegate from AD-5. I have been an active Democrat since 1974 when I first volunteered for a campaign.

I am finishing my 6th year of serving as President of the United Democrats of El Dorado County, and as the Club Representative on the County DCC for 3 years.

During my time as a Public Elementary School Teacher I was active in my local and served on the CTA State Council for 7 years.

When I was elected to be a Delegate in 2019 I pledged to not attack any Democratic Candidates or their supporters. I am proud to say I fulfilled that pledge. We must stand united as Democrats as we face many critical battles coming in our future. I would very much appreciate your vote.

Thank you!

John Savage

Hello, my name is Dr. Celeste Boggs. I have been a life-long democrat and active participant and voter in every election since I turned 18 in 1999. Additionally, I have been a high school teacher for 10 years, and have earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership. As such, education is a vitally important issue for me. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Resource Conservation, and Master of Arts in Teaching. I am passionate about ensuring future generations inherit a green, healthy, and livable planet. As a property owner in El Dorado County for over 8 years, I am keenly aware of the issues our district faces. As we move beyond the Trump era, I am dedicated to working toward a future where truth, facts, science, compassion for others, and economic, racial, and social justice issues continue to be prioritized in the California Democratic Party. I humbly request your vote to represent you as a California Assembly District 5 Democratic Party Delegate.

Dr. Celeste Boggs

I have lived in Sonora for over 10 years, as a lifetime Democrat, originally from the SF Bay Area, I assisted in the election of Ryan Campbell, Supervisor District 2 of Tuolumne County, in 2016, where I became more involved in the local elections. My goal in becoming a member of CADEM, is to assist in choosing and getting elected local Democratic candidates for both Frank Bigelow’s Assembly Seat, and Tom McClintock’s Congressional seat. Of course, I am in favor of all issues of the Democratic Part, End Global Warming, equal treatment of all races, Pro-Choice, etc., and of course combatting the terrible positions of the Republican Party.

Paul Slemmons

My name is Olga Garcia. I am an Educator for Madera Unified School District. I have been involved in Politics for 43 years. I support our Democratic leaders in working to make California a better place to live. I join them in fighting for good paying jobs, combating climate change, and expanding our healthcare. I am a proud mother of a son who is serving our country in the Navy with a BA in Human Resources and a daughter with a Masters Degree in Clinical Counseling. Both are a service to their community. I raised them to advocate for those who do not have a voice and to help the least fortunate. IT WOULD BE AN HONOR TO RECIEVE YOUR VOTE AND CONTINUE TO SERVE. THANK YOU.

Olga Paz Garcia

My name is Martha Garcia, I live at 413 South A St Madera, CA. 93638

I’m a teacher and advocate for children and families.

I’m a mother of 5 with College education who are evolved in serving our community .

I’m a member of the Madera Central Committee, a treasurer of the democratic club, a Board Member of(CAPMC). Community Action Partnership of Madera County. Helping people changing lives. I’m working hard to make California a better place to live with good paying jobs, and combating climate change, and Heath Care for all.

Please Vote for Me

Thank You


Martha Garcia

Fellow Dems,

My name is Violet Grimaldo. I would like to introduce myself to you all as a mother to three beautiful children, a wife to a US Marine and an advocate for our community.

When I am not working my day job or attending to my children, I spend my free time in community activism. I consider myself a community and Labor Union advocate. I spend countless hours walking precincts, volunteering for non-profit organizations (Treasurer for the Central Valley Partnership, Madera Central Committee) around the valley and fighting for workers rights.

I am running for ADEMS so my voice and the voice of many can be heard around our area. I hope I can count on your vote!

Violet Grimaldo

My name is Felipe Grimaldo, at the age of 37, I am a proud parent of three great children, a family man, U.S. Marine Veteran, devoted Democrat and pleased to be one of your current ADEMS representatives.

As a social justice enthusiast I truly walk the walk. I have and continue to be fully committed to the California Democratic Party. I currently serve as an elected member on the Madera County Democratic Central Committee. Inclusively, I serve as a Commissioner for the Madera Municipal Airport Advisory Commission, as well as a Board Member on the Board of Directors of the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust.

I whole heartedly believe in Bernie Sanders wise words, “The only way change happens is when people become more significantly involved in the political process.”

I strongly believe in the core mission of union stewardship by empowering our sister and brother union members by creating a culture of organizing, development of local leaders and engaging with community members and organizations. I have headed various campaign efforts in support of our party and have fostered community leadership. With your blessing, I plan to continue to serve as a member of the California Assembly District 5 ADEMS with your re-election vote and hopefully as your newly elected Executive Board Member as well.

Felipe Grimaldo

I have been an E. Board member for 4 years. I have leveraged my access to build relationships with delegates and leaders throughout the state, and to advocate for rural issues and progressive candidates who challenge the status quo.

I have taken a progressive stance in the party. I whipped votes across our region as an organizing fellow for Kimberly Ellis for CA State Party Chair, and I also helped fight for and to earn the CADEM Party nomination of Kevin De Leon for U.S. Senate. I organized 250 people to call the governor to advocate for the SB 54, the CA sanctuary state bill. I also worked with fellow delegates to protest in the capitol and kill a bill that would have made it easier for legislators to raise secret pots of money beyond their current allowed limits.

I will always stand up for the people’s rights, stand up for workers, and people making their livelihoods in rural areas-such as small business owners, farmworkers, and those working in low-wage jobs.

I am also standing up on the issue of climate change, to stop carbon emissions, and connect the people who make decisions to the information and resources to actually make progress on climate change at the local level. That means taking a really strong and hard stance on climate change and refusing to take no for an answer. So I propose we begin to lobby local jurisdictions to declare climate change transition zones as proclamations at the local level–to begin participating more aggressively in carbon sequestration efforts. There is no time to waste on this issue, as the wildfires have taught us, and I will always fight hard for our land and our people.

I will also keep shining a bright light on wealth disparity, the housing crisis, and health inequalities (inc. Medicare for All at the federal level) during the pandemic. I believe we need to respond to the needs of the current year, not the past: we need leaders to respond to the crisis of the moment – the pandemic. People need mental health resources and economic relief immediately. So I will continue to push our leaders to respond to our needs regarding the pandemic.

For elections, I will always support progressive candidates who advocate for radical change–redistribution of wealth and resources, sustainability, and reinvesting criminal justice dollars into K-12 & higher education.

Thank you for your support! We’re just getting started!

Dr. Amy Champ

My name is Sarah, and I live in Oakhurst, just south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park. I will turn 40 in 2021, and as my two children approach school age (they will turn five and two this winter), I am eager to get more involved in my local and regional community.

I have been the Executive Director of a medium-sized youth development nonprofit, which spans the length of our Congressional district from Nevada County to Fresno County, since 2013. I am particularly committed to increasing equity in education and outdoor spaces; to advocating for the rights of all humans, especially immigrants; and to facilitating experiences in the outdoors for young people and under-represented populations, so that they become stewards of our planet.

Sarah Cupery Ottley