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Ag inspector challenges Olsen in 12th

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POSTED April 17, 2014 12:19 a.m.

Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) is hoping to once again represent the California State Assembly 12th District.

The incumbent will be challenged by Harinder Grewal (D-Turlock), who currently sits on the Turlock Unified School District board of trustees.

Up for grabs in the November election is the two-year term covering parts of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

No surprise that Grewal, who has a doctorate in Agricultural Economics and Master degrees in both Agricultural Economics and Business Administration, places public education high on his list, if elected. 

A county agricultural inspector, he also believes in promoting and protecting the Central Valley’s agriculture, economic growth, and helping to update the state’s aging infrastructure.

Olsen is seeking a third term (three terms is the limited for any incumbent). She easily defeated former Lathrop Councilman Christopher Mateo two years ago and, in 2010, beat Janice Keating, Teri Murrison, Bill Conrad, Kurt Vander Weide and Jesse James White in the June primaries while running uncontested in the general election.

She’s currently vice chair of both the Education and Agricultural committees. 

Serving on the 12th Assembly District, Olsen and Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) just helped push a bill that would encourage districts to expand computer science courses, particularly in high schools.

Olsen and her husband, Rod, have three children. Prior to the state assembly, she served on the Modesto City Council for five years, beginning in 2005.

In addition, Olsen was vice president for Communications & Public Affairs at California State University, Stanislaus. She also served on the Modesto Citizens Housing and Community Development Committee and the Modesto City Planning Commission.

Grewal, meanwhile, has been married for 23 years and has two children.

 He’s an Economics lecturer at CSU, Stanislaus and his leadership experience includes serving as a director on the Stanislaus County Fair Board, the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council, the Keyes Community Service District (past director), and the California Association of Standards and Agricultural Professionals (past member).

“It’s time for representation in Sacramento that understands long-term planning and meeting the needs of a 21st century Central Valley,” he said in his website. “As your next assembly member, I will work to ensure increased water storage, fight to control excessive regulations which plague small businesses, and pledge to always keep my eye on the ball for our local interests.”

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