An Anderson pastor is exploring a run in 2012 for the newly-redefined California State Senate District 1.
Les Baugh, co-pastor of Anderson Community Church, and his wife Susie have actively been seeking guidance from parishioners and political advisors since late July, he said.
Baugh said early Monday that he would publicly announce his decision on whether to run at noon Thursday, Oct. 13, in front of the Shasta County Courthouse in Redding.
Following a thorough state-wide redistricting plan prompted by results of the national census conducted in 2010, the 1st Senate district will soon include all of Shasta, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen and Plumas counties in north-eastern California along with varying portions of Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Alpine and Sacramento counties.
Baugh, 55, is a former Anderson City Council member. He was elected four times before running for a seat on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors in November 2006.
“Susie and I have been pursuing this since the second round of redistricting maps were released” in July, Baugh said. “That was when we found out that Doug (LaMalfa) and Jim (Nielsen) would be removed from representing this area,” added Baugh, who turns 56 at the end of October.
Asked whether he could retain his post as co-pastor of the Anderson Community if elected to the state legislature, Baugh responded, “I call it an extension of our ministry.”
If he runs, Baugh will most certainly face opposition in the June primary from fellow Republican and sitting incumbent Ted Gaines of Roseville, who currently represents the 1st State Senate District.
“I will need to move my residence to Rocklin in order to represent the new 1st District,” Gaines said Saturday while listening to speeches at Politics in the Park, a Shasta County Republican Central Committee-sponsored picnic held this year at Anderson River Park.
Baugh said of his private meetings with potential donors and political advisors scattered throughout the proposed 1st Senate District, “To a person, everyone I have asked has encouraged me to run.”
When pressed further on his personal desire to run for higher office, Baugh said, “Yes, I do want to represent the region as a State Senator, but the timing and my calling will be part of my decision process since I cannot afford to finance such a campaign with my own personal resources.”
Baugh said his advisors expect such a race to cost up to $500,000 for the June 2012 primary, and a similar amount, possibly even $1 million, for the general election in November of next year.
An Anderson resident, Baugh has been co-pastor of Anderson Community, a congregation that he helped plant six years ago as a home-based church.
David Honey of the Good News Rescue Mission is also a co-pastor of the same church body.
Baugh began his public office career in 1981, shortly after he was appointed to the Anderson Planning Commission by Gerry Vorhees. When Vorhees resigned from the Anderson City Council later that same year, Baugh was appointed to fill out Vorhees’ unexpired term.
He was elected to the Anderson City Council in April 1982 but resigned his four-year term Nov. 16, 1982.
Baugh was elected to a two-year term in November 1998 and re-elected to four-year terms in November 2000 and November 2004.
He ran for the District 5 county supervisor seat in November 2006, resigned his Anderson City Council position in December 2006 and was seated on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors in early January 2007.
Baugh was re-elected to a second four-year term on the county board in 2010.