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State senator announces re-election campaign 

john laird

State Senator John Laird represents Paso Robles.

17th District includes Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz counties, as well as much of San Luis Obispo County

– Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) today announced the launch of his re-election campaign for the 17th District, which includes Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties, as well as much of San Luis Obispo County. Senator Laird was first elected to the California State Senate in 2020. The primary election will be held March 5, 2024.

“When I ran for the Senate in 2020, I promised to hit the ground running and that’s exactly what I have done,” said Laird. “I promised to work on climate change—and led a climate change working group of 12 Senators that resulted in a major legislative package signed into law. I promised to focus on our education system—and last year, as chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education, the largest year over year increase to K-12 education in modern times was secured. I promised to work on housing—and we produced $3.5 billion dollars for higher education housing, to benefit both students and their surrounding communities. I’m proud of the progress made on many key issues. I’m energized to continue to meet the challenges, as well as the opportunities, we face on the Central Coast and in California.”

During Laird’s first term in the State Senate, he sent 29 bills to Governor Newsom’s desk that were signed into law. Legislative highlights include: helping save Watsonville Hospital; funding to reduce future flood risks along the Pajaro River; progress addressing climate change (including sea level rise, data forecasting, and greenhouse gas emissions tracking); fentanyl overdose reversal drugs; survival benefits for families of fallen officers; services for foster youth who attend community college; support for older Californians living with HIV; and protections against excessive rents for mobile home residents.

Senator Laird also has secured tens of millions of dollars for important priorities and investments throughout the Central Coast. Through the state budget, he secured funding to restore UC cooperative agricultural services, as well as provide key support to CSU agricultural programs, such as those at Cal Poly; provide support for public schools so they could reopen after pandemic lockdowns, including support to address the learning loss of students during the pandemic; fix a long-term funding issue for the City of Atascadero; provide funds for water projects on the Monterey Peninsula and the reservoirs in southern Monterey County; address issues related to homelessness in Santa Cruz; secure help for the Point Sur Lighthouse and Garrapata Park trail system in Monterey County; provide key support to help Cal Poly rebuild its Swanton campus facilities; and, working with colleagues, ensure continued support for state food banks, and much, much more.

He is a long-time resident of Santa Cruz, where he lives with his spouse, John Flores.

To learn more about Senator Laird, check out these links:,,, or

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