Jim Nielsen

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Jim Nielsen
California State Senate District 4
In office
January 10, 2013 - Present
Term ends
December 6, 2014
Years in position 2
Base salary$95,291/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
First electedJanuary 8, 2013
Term limits12 years
Prior offices
California State Assembly District 2
California State Senate
Jim Nielsen is a Republican member of the California State Senate, representing District 4. He was first elected to the chamber in 1978 serving until 1990, before being re-elected in 2013.[1]

Nielsen was a member of the California State Assembly, representing the 2nd District from 2008 to 2012.


Nielsen's professional experience includes working as business owner and ranch foreman.

Nielsen is the founder of the California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights.[2]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Nielsen served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Budget and Fiscal Review
Governmental Organization, Vice-chair
Veterans Affairs
Fisheries and Aquaculture


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


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


Nielsen's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 726 - Transportation capital improvement projects
  • AB 1033 - California Global Warming Solutions Act
  • AB 1167 - Firearms: concealed firearm licenses

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

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.[3][4]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Nielsen ranked as a 17.[5]


In 2009, Nielsen received the Patti Mattingly Award from the Regional Council for Rural Counties for displaying proactive leadership on rural issues and knowledge of challenges confronting rural communities.[6] Presented annually, the award honored Nielsen's work supporting a water bond issue and protection of water rights.[7]



See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

Nielsen won a special election for California State Senate District 4. He came in first against Mickey Harrington (D), Jann Reed (no party preference) and Dan Levine (no party preference) in the blanket primary on November 6, 2012. Nielsen initially looked to have won the blanket primary outright, but final returns showed him just short of the 50 percent plus one necessary to avoid a general election. Nielsen defeated Harrington in the special election on January 8, 2013.[8][9][10][11][12]

California State Senate, District 4, Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Mickey Harrington 33.4% 49,004
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJim Nielsen 66.6% 97,849
Total Votes 146,853


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2012 and Redistricting in California

Nielsen initially announced in August 2011 that he would seek re-election in 2012.[13] However, he did not end up running for re-election.


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Nielsen won re-election to the 2nd District Seat in 2010. He defeated Charlie Schaupp in the June 8 primary, receiving 28,178 votes to Schaupp's 22,457. He then ran unopposed in the November 2 general election.[14][15]

California House of Representatives, District 2 Republican Primary (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Jim Nielsen (R) 28,178
Charlie Schaupp (R) 22,457


In 2008 Nielsen was elected to the California State Assembly District 2. Nielsen (R) finished with 118,149 votes while his opponent Paul Singh (D) finished with 62,510 votes.[16] Nielsen raised $587,381 for his campaign fund.[17]

California State Assembly District 2
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Jim Nielsen (R) 118,149
Paul Singh (D) 62,510

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Nielsen is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Nielsen raised a total of $1,752,843 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 14, 2013.[18]

Jim Nielsen's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2013 California State Senate, District 4 Won $0
2012 California State Senate, District 4 Won $516,633
2010 California State Assembly, District 2 Won $648,829
2008 California State Assembly, District 2 Won $587,381
Grand Total Raised $1,752,843


Nielsen won election to the California State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Nielsen raised a total of $516,633.


In 2010, Nielsen raised $648,829 in contributions.[19]

His two largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
California Department Of Forestry Fire Fighters $11,800
California Dental Association $9,800


Below are Nielsen's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[20]

Contributor 2008 total
Philip Morris $7,200
Crime Victims United Prop 34 $7,200
California Dental Assoc $7,200
Sierra Pacific Industries $7,200
Golden State Water Co $7,200

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Doug LaMalfa (R)
California State Senate District 4
Succeeded by
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 2
Succeeded by