Find out who is running locally in the March 5 election

Editor’s Note:

The 2024 California Primary Election will be held March 5. To represent Morgan Hill, candidates are running for State Senate District 15 and State Assembly District 28.
Candidate statements of up to 300 words were submitted to Morgan Hill Life for State Senate District 15 by incumbent David Cortese (D) and Robert Howell (R). Also on the ballot for this race is Tony Loaiza (R) who did not respond to our requests for a candidate statement for publication in the newspaper.
In the State Assembly District 15 race, both candidates, incumbent Gail Pellerin (D) and Liz Lawler (R) submitted statements for publication. If you need to register to vote in the election, your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than Feb. 20. To register online, go to If you want to register by mail, postage free forms can be found at the Morgan Hill or Gilroy libraries.


David Cortese — candidate State Senate District 15

David Cortese

It has been a joy to serve the residents of San Jose and several smaller cities as a state senator since 2020. Following the 2020 census, new district lines were drawn and Senate District 15 now extends from San Jose to Gilroy. I am very excited about this change and look forward to the possibility of representing South County in the state legislature.
I grew up in a hardworking farming and ranching family in East San Jose that has been civically engaged for generations. I began my public service as a school board member in the East Side Union High School District for eight years, followed by eight years on the San Jose City Council and then 12 years on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. I’m grateful for these roles which have allowed me to stand up for children, foster youth, families, seniors, workers, small businesses, and others.
As a state senator, I’ve authored several bills to increase affordable housing and audit homelessness programs to make them more effective. I’ve written legislation to enhance community safety, increase police staffing and accountability, protect young people from fentanyl, and ensure that all of our students receive equal school funding.
I’m fighting to protect our community from wildfires, safeguard workers from wage oppression and I’m helping to lead California’s efforts to protect the environment through senate bills related to water conservation, climate restoration, and wildlife preservation. I’ll continue working to keep our communities safe and clean, make our schools stronger, build more affordable housing and protect workers’ rights. I’m looking forward to spending time getting to know you at your festivals, neighborhood events, and town halls so I can better understand and represent your needs and interests in Sacramento. To learn more, please visit

Robert Howell — candidate State Senate District 15

Robert Howell

My family moved to San Jose in 1965 when my father retired from the USAF. I graduated from Lynbrook High School, went on to attend De Anza JC and then on to San Jose State, go Spartans! I met my bride while attending SJSU. We will be celebrating our 44th anniversary next year. This year we welcomed our fifth grandchild.
Exatron is a small family business that manufactures robotic computer and cybersecurity test equipment, right here in San Jose, since 1974. We were also involved with the early computer business in Silicon Valley. At one time, one of our biggest customers was IBM, just down the road from Exatron. Sadly, IBM is no longer there. I will do all I can to support all aspects of doing business in Santa Clara County. Our local businesses need to thrive, not get put out of business by politicians who have never worked in the real world. I know what it means to employ people and sign paychecks.
I have been involved with local politics for a very long time. The first time I ran for State Senate District 15 was in 2020. I ended up being the #1 Republican. Then in 2022, I ran for the statewide office of Insurance Commissioner. From a field of nine candidates, I came in No. 2, which is hard to do as a Republican in California. I earned more than 4,000,000 votes. Please visit
I am endorsed by:
CRA California Republican Assembly
Drain the Swamp PAC
EBLM Every Black Life Matters
Moms for Liberty
SVACR Silicon Valley Association of Conservative Republicans
Formally the Silicon Valley Association of Republican Women
SVRA Silicon Valley Republican Assembly
Tea Party Patriots of Silicon Valley
The American Independent Party
The Liberty Volunteers
VAC Values Advocacy Council

Gail Pellerin — candidate State Assembly District 28

Gail Pellerin

It has been my honor to serve as your State Assemblymember for California’s 28th Assembly District, representing portions of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. I am incredibly proud of what we have already accomplished, but there is so much more to be done. I am running for re-election to continue to address the challenges we face and to advocate for the needs of the 28th Assembly District.
Ensuring that your voice is heard remains my number one priority.
In the Assembly, I serve as Chair of the Elections Committee, where I am committed to ensuring that California is the gold standard for secure, accurate, transparent and accessible elections.
Additionally, I serve on the Appropriations, Natural Resources and Water, Parks and Wildlife committees. I also serve as the Vice Chair of the Select Committee on California’s Mental Health Crisis, advocating for much needed mental health resources.
Prior to serving in the State Assembly, I served as the chief elections official in Santa Cruz County from 1993 to 2020.
Democracy can only thrive if elected officials involve the community in solving the problems we face. Whether it’s tackling affordable housing and homelessness, providing physical and mental health care that’s affordable and equitable, stimulating jobs and our economy, fighting for equality or addressing the impacts of climate change, I want to work with you to solve problems.
I respectfully ask for your vote to continue to represent you as Assemblymember for the 28th Assembly District and I look forward to our working together.
For more information, visit

Liz Lawler — candidate State Assembly District 28

Liz Lawler

I am seeking your support as a moderate California candidate for the California State Assembly. In a district that traditionally leans Democratic, I bring a fresh perspective that transcends party lines, focusing on the principles that unite us.
As a pro-choice advocate, I believe in a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body. Our diverse society requires policies that respect individual choices and prioritize comprehensive healthcare.
In addition, I proudly support marriage equality, recognizing that love is a fundamental right.
Embracing the principles of equality and inclusivity strengthens our community and advances the values that make California a beacon of hope. In addressing our public education system, I am committed to reforming it for the 21st century. Our students deserve a world-class education that equips them with the skills needed for success in a rapidly changing global landscape.
Economic prosperity is central to my agenda. I advocate for promoting common-sense fiscal policies that encourage job creation, support small businesses, and stimulate local economies. By fostering an environment where businesses can thrive, we ensure a robust and resilient community for all.
Moreover, I am dedicated to ending the autocracy in Sacramento. A vote for me is a vote for a more transparent and accountable government. Together, let’s build a California that values individual freedoms, celebrates diversity, ensures a world-class education for every child, and embraces economic growth for all. Your vote for me is a vote for a brighter, more prosperous future for all Californians.