Jim Wood, DDS, a general dentist in Cloverdale since 1987 and the current vice mayor of his hometown of Healdsburg, has formally launched his campaign for a State Assembly seat in the 2014 election season.
If elected, Wood would become the second dentist currently serving in the state Legislature, joining Sen. Bill Emmerson, DDS, of Redlands, whose tenure will be ending due to term limits in 2016.
Wood, a Democrat running in a strongly Democratic district, would also join what currently is a supermajority in the California Assembly.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to serve my community and my profession in the state Assembly,” said Wood. “Along with my hands-on experience as a practicing dentist and small-business owner, my years at CDA engaging in major health care policy issues have really paved the way to this next step. With so much change facing the dental profession and health care in general, my understanding of the challenges of running a private practice along with the access to care issues facing our communities will make me a positive addition to the Assembly.”
After his Cloverdale practice was established, Wood wasted little time before becoming active in the policy arena with CDA. After first becoming involved with the Redwood Empire Dental Society (where he served as president in 2000-01), he was appointed to the CDA Council on Legislation (now the Government Affairs Council) in 1998, and served for six years, culminating with two years as council chair in 2003-04, and served as a CDA trustee from 2003-2006.
In addition to his family practice, Wood also has become a nationally recognized leader in forensic dentistry, serving as a member of the emergency response teams following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His civic service in Healdsburg began during the same period, beginning with his appointment to the city planning commission in 2002, followed by his election to the City Council in 2006.
“The change in term limits that allows someone the potential to serve 12 years in the Assembly or the Senate will change California politics significantly, and I believe for the better,” said Wood. “My experience as a local elected official has allowed me to build strong relationships with local citizens all the way up to members of Congress. While I would be a member of the majority party if elected, I have a proven ability to work effectively and collegially with members of both parties. I believe I have a unique and very strong skillset that will serve me well going forward.”
CDA President Lindsey Robinson, DDS, has known and worked with Wood for many years and said it is the perfect time for him to run for a State Assembly seat.
“First of all, he is a man of impeccable character, integrity and commitment, traits that are always needed in Sacramento,” Robinson said. “With so many key issues facing dentistry, there is no substitute for having someone in the Capitol who understands those challenges firsthand, can educate his colleagues and be a trusted voice for the profession.”
The 2nd Assembly District, in which Wood is running, covers all or part of Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity and Sonoma counties. The complete field of candidates for the seat will not be known until after the March 7, 2014, filing deadline, with the primary election taking place June 3, 2014.
“This Assembly district covers a huge range of territory, both geographically and demographically, which makes it a uniquely challenging part of the state to campaign in and to represent,” said Wood. “But in traveling the district and the state over the last year in preparation for my campaign, I have been extremely gratified and humbled by the amount of support I have received from my community and from my colleagues. I am looking forward to the upcoming year.”
For more information about Dr. Wood’s Assembly campaign, visit jimwoodforassembly.com.