Sandré Swanson

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Sandré Swanson
California State Assembly District 16
Former Member
In office
Base salary$95,290.56 per year
Per diem$141.86 per day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2, 2010
Term limits3 terms (6 years)
Office website
Campaign website
Sandré Swanson is a former Democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 16 since 2006.

Swanson previously served as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Barbara Lee from 1998-2004, and as District Director/Senior Policy Advisor for Congressman Ron Dellums from 1973-1998.

He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Oakland Anti-Poverty Board.[1]

Swanson has indicated that when he is termed-out of office in 2012 that he will seek election to District 9 of the California State Senate. That seat is currently held by fellow Democrat Loni Hancock who has already indicated a desire to seek re-election.[2] Swanson is ineligible to run for re-election to the California State Assembly in 2012 due to term limits.


Political Courage test

Swanson provided answers to the California State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test. The test informs voters how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected. When asked his legislative priorities he replied:

"My top priority is to ensure the health, education, and safety of our children. As Chairperson of Labor, I also place a high priority on protecting the rights of working families, and expanding the number of high-quality, living wage jobs in our state. I pursue these two priorities through my legislation and from my positions on the Labor and Budget Committees, as well as the Budget sub-committees on Education Finance and State Administration."[3]

Legislative scorecard

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[4][5]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Swanson ranked as an 89.[6]

Top Two Primaries

Swanson has registered his opposition to California Proposition 14, Top Two Primaries Act (June 2010), saying that it will greatly increase the cost of campaigns, because it requires major party members to run two separate election campaigns each of which must reach out to the full electorate.[7]

Swanson's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 16 - Sex crimes: minor victims: punishment
  • AB 559 - Human trafficking: minors
  • AB 1377 - School districts: state receivership: audits

For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Swanson served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Swanson served on these committees:



Swanson was ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits.


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Swanson won re-election to the 16th District seat in 2010. He had no opposition in the June 8 primary. He defeated James I. Faison and Lisa D. Ringer in the November 2 general election.[8]

California State Assembly, District 16 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Sandré Swanson (D) 99,082
James I. Faison (R) 14,692
Lisa D. Ringer (L) 4,909


In 2008 Swanson was re-elected to the California State Assembly District 16. Swanson (D) finished with 136,066 votes while his opponent James Faison (R) finished with 18,817 votes.[9] Swanson raised $474,662 for his campaign fund.[10]

California State Assembly District 16
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Sandré Swanson (D) 136,066
James Faison (R) 18,817

Campaign donors


In 2010, Swanson raised $643,331 in contributions.[11]

His five largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
AT&T $17,800
AFSCME California $15,600
California State Council Of Service Employees $15,600
Electrical Workers Local 595 $15,600
California Teachers Association $15,600


Below are Swanson's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[12]

Contributor 2008 total
Building & Construction Trades Council of CA $14,400
California Teachers Association $14,400
California State Council of Service Employees $14,400
Operating Engineers Local 3 $11,400
AFSCME California $10,800

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Political offices
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 16
Succeeded by
Joan Buchanan (D)