The following comes from an Apr. 29 story in the Elk Grove Citizen.

Editor: One of the two Democratic Assemblymembers running is pediatrician Richard Pan, chairman of the Assembly Health Committee who carried AB 980 for Planned Parenthood — to repeal all abortions regulations in primary care clinics. 

Jonathan Zachariou said he was a “reluctant candidate” when he ran for State Assembly two years ago.

The Republican said he feels the same way as he pursues the 6th Senate District seat that represents Elk Grove.

“It’s not an aspiration of something that I wanted to do or had to do right now for personal reasons,” the senior pastor of a church in Davis said. “I like my life. In fact, I love my life.”

Zachariou is facing State Assembly members Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento), and another Republican in the Senate race.

Two years ago, incumbent Dickinson was the only candidate running for the 7th Assembly District seat includes Natomas where Zachariou resides, the northern part of Sacramento County, and a part of Yolo County.

“The race was going to go uncontested. That’s preposterous,” he said. “I was not pleased with the direction the Assembly was going in, and they were about to win a super majority.”

Zachariou said he made a few calls to get someone to run against Dickinson. Instead, he responded to the call.

The first-time candidate – besides his successful run for student body president while at Bethany University in Santa Cruz – had no money, no name recognition, and was a Republican running against a Democratic incumbent during a presidential election in 2012.

“We were running on fumes,” he said.

Dickinson cruised to victory with 70 percent of the vote.

But the 30 percent Zachariou received caused him to pay attention to this year’s Senate race.

Early on, he said when it became apparent that Dickinson and Pan could be unopposed for the Senate seat, he asked state Republican officials if he should run against Dickinson or run to replace him in the Assembly.

He said party officials said they would pass on the Senate race, so Zachariou pulled papers to run for the open Assembly seat with the hope of getting elected to break up the super majority.

“I saw strategy in (the Senate race). I had a sense that it was going to be the race,” he said. “But I didn’t scratch and claw to make it that race.”

But days before the final filing deadline, he said the same party officials asked him to switch his commitment to the Senate race.

The candidate said he is not running as a partisan Republican. He said his goal is to reconnect the Legislature with the voters….

The 6th Senate District seat includes Elk Grove, Sacramento International Airport, and Citrus Heights on its borders.

The winner will succeed Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who is being termed out of office.

The top two finishers in the June 3 election, regardless of party affiliation, will face off in November.

To read the original story, click here.