Good News for the Fatherhood Movement: Rod Wright Wins

California–In my recent blog post Important: Accomplished, Pro-Fatherhood Candidate Needs Your Support, I wrote:

One of the unsung heroes of the struggle for fairness in family law is former California Assemblyman Rod Wright (pictured). Wright is currently in an election battle to get back into the California Senate, and if he wins it will be a big step forward.

Rod was a pioneer of child support and family law reform in California and the nation. In  speaking about his time introducing reforms into a hostile California legislature, Rod describes himself and his staff as, “The first guys who hit the beach at Normandy–taking all the hits.” It was absolutely true.

Rod was one of the pioneers of paternity fraud laws, and in 2002 got AB 2240 through the California legislature. It was subsequently vetoed by then-Governor Gray Davis (see my co-authored column Preserving Paternity Fraud, Orange County Register, 10/3/02), but it helped pave the way for the eventual passage of AB 252 in 2004.

Sacramento veteran Stan Diorio served as Wright’s Chief of Staff from 1996 to 2002 and has been pivotal in many of the achievements in family law in California.  To read a brief history he wrote about Rod Wright’s contributions, click here.

In my post I asked for donations for Rod Wright and received many letters from people who said they had donated to Wright’s campaign–thanks to all of you.

Good News for the Fatherhood Movement

Rod Wright won, defeating Mervyn Dymally. (As Wright himself noted, it’s sad that the two had to go against each other, because Dymally is a good guy too.) According to the Daily Breeze (6/4/08):

Rod Wright claimed victory early Wednesday in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 25th Senate District, defeating veteran lawmaker Mervyn Dymally.

Wright, 55, won by about 4,000 votes, taking 43.9 percent to 35.1 percent for Dymally. Dymally, 82, was seeking to return to the state Senate, after serving there in the late 1960s and early ’70s.

“Larry Holmes didn’t take any joy out of beating up Muhammad Ali,” Wright said Wednesday. “I got no joy in saying, `Wow, I beat Merv Dymally.”‘

Wright spent two years before the election meeting with city councils and Democratic clubs, which allowed him to build up a base of local support in an area he had not previously represented.

He estimated he had attended about 100 meetings, and he won the endorsement of every Democratic mayor in the district, which loops from Inglewood to Long Beach to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and also includes Gardena, Hawthorne and Lawndale.

Wright will face Republican Lydia Gutierrez in the fall, but is expected to win easily. Wright served in the Assembly from 1996 to 2002 and earned a reputation as a pro-business moderate.

“What I’d like to think I’d be able to do is establish a dialogue with Republicans,” Wright said Wednesday. “People who provide value are those that can get in the middle and draw some kind of consensus.”

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