“Everyone knew” he was running, but it was only Wednesday that longtime Republican activist and College of the Canyons board member Scott Wilk announced his candidacy to replace Cameron Smyth in the state Assembly when Smyth is termed out of office at year’s end.
Smyth has endorsed Wilk for the seat over his three challengers – Patricia McKeon (R), wife of U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon; Paul Strickland (R), a member of the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board; and Edward Headington (D) of the San Fernando Valley.
“The California of today is not the Land of Promise that I was born and raised in,” Wilk said in a prepared statement Wednesday. “Our present state of affairs appears daunting – high unemployment, misguided state spending like the proposed High Speed Rail and public schools that can be better.”
Wilk said the California Legislature is dealing not only with a budget deficit but also with a “trust deficit.”
“I want to restore the trust with the people by holding the line on taxes and reforming regulations, re-prioritizing government spending and improving our public education system,” Wilk said.
Wilk, with wife Vanessa at his side, made his announcement at the Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at COC’s Valencia campus.
Wilk praised Smyth’s leadership, saying the sitting assemblyman “has been a dedicated public servant who has been able to get things done in the Legislature even though he is in the minority party.”
“I enter the arena based on a lifetime of preparation,” Wilk said in his statement, adding that his “real life experience” positions him to “deliver on my first day on the job.”
Wilk is a political consultant who previously was a member of Rep. McKeon’s staff. He serves on the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation board and on the SCV Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Committee.