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Alan Nakanishi to run for state assembly

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Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2001 10:00 pm

Lodi Mayor Alan Nakanishi will announce his candidacy for the 10th District seat in the state assembly this week.

Nakanishi will not be challenged by incumbent assemblyman, and fellow Republican, Anthony Pescetti.

Pescetti, R-Rancho Cordova, said Friday he would not seek re-election in the 2002 primaries in March.

Nakanishi, an ophthalmologist by profession, was matter of fact about his decision to run for assembly in Sacramento.

Alan Nakanishi
Alan Nakanishi

"The door opened for me, and I was encouraged to run," he said. "I will consult with my backers today before making an official public announcement later this week."

Pescetti cited many reasons for his decision not to run for re-election, one being a desire to spend more time with his family.

"It's what I thought was best for me and for the district," he said.

Under term limits, Pescetti, who is finishing his second term, would be able to serve only two more years if re-elected. His view is that the district would be better represented by someone who could serve three full terms.

"The district has changed and grown a lot in the last four years, and it will continue to," he said. "I think it would be best for someone to come in and have the potential to be here for six full years. Continuity is very important in this district."

Whether or not that someone is Nakanishi is yet to be determined.

"He still has to win the primary," Pescetti said.

But if Nakanishi wins the primary, he will probably win the seat, Pescetti said.

"The Republican primary is the election in this district," he said.

Nonetheless, Nakanishi is ready for a difficult campaign.

"Imagine the hardest thing you've ever done and multiply it by 10 - that's how hard a campaign is," he said.

Nakanishi's view of campaigning is not surprising in light of some of his recent campaigns.

In 2000, he ran for state Senate against Mike Machado, D-Linden, and lost an extremely close race, which came down to a recount. Two years prior to that, he lost a close race to Pescetti in a bid for the Republican nomination for the 10th District, the position Pescetti is now stepping down from.

Even with his withdrawal, Nakanishi will have a tough campaign path ahead, Pescetti said.

"Sixty-five percent of the district is the same that he ran in for the senate, and 35 percent is a new area," Pescetti said. "Also there could be some really good candidates out of Sacramento, and that's the biggest part of the district, so it won't be easy. It all depends on the aggressiveness and effectiveness of his campaign."

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