Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen announced Monday that she will not be running for office at the end of her term in 2016.
Though after extensive polling she believed she could beat the incumbent Democrat State Senate District 5 representative, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Olsen decided not to run.
“This was a very difficult decision. SD 5 is a winnable Republican seat,” Olsen said in her statement released Monday. “Were my decision based solely on the ability to win, there is no doubt that I would be a candidate. The biggest factor in my decision, however, was my family.”
Olsen went on to explain that the extensive travel and commitment she has made to public service has not allowed her to be as active in her three children’s lives as much as she would like to be.
“My passion for this work remains as strong as ever, but the time needed to simultaneously serve my constituents and run a very intense campaign would not allow me the ability to adequately focus on my family as is needed right now,” she said.
Olsen began her journey to the California State Assembly when she served on Modesto City Council in 2005 where she stood for fiscal responsibility, public safety and economic development. She was later elected to the California State Assembly in 2010 and re-elected to her third term in November 2014.
Senator Galgiani responded to Olsen’s decision not to run for her current position in the fifth senate district.
“The decision to seek public office is never easy,” said Galgiani. “I am proud of my record of accomplishments and hard work on behalf of the citizens of the Valley. Mrs. Olsen has served with distinction and I look forward to continuing to work together to address the many issues we both care so deeply about.”
Olsen promises to make every minute of her last year in the Assembly and urges her constituents and supporters to remain engaged and active.
Although she is thankful for the support of those who have encouraged her to run, she says it is time to move on.
“There is much work to be done to improve California and better the lives of its 38 million residents,” she said. “I anticipate that I will return to public service when the time is right.”