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Joan Buchanan

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Joan Buchanan
Joan buchanan.png
California State Assembly District 16
In office
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 6
Base salary$95,291/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits3 terms (6 years)
Campaign website
Joan Buchanan is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 16. She was first elected to the chamber in 2008.


Buchanan's previous professional experience includes working as Director of Commercial Operations for Delta Dental and as the former President of the San Ramon County School Board.[1]

Committee assignments


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

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Accountability and Administrative Review
Education, Chair
Utilities and Commerce


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


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


Buchanan's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 483 - Workers' compensation: Internet Web sites
  • AB 1307 - Newborn genetic screening
  • AB 1454 - Property taxation: refunds

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

Political Courage test

Buchanan did not provide answers to the California State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test. The test provides voters with how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected.[2]

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, Buchanan ranked as a 94.[5]



See also: California State Assembly elections, 2012

Buchanan won re-election in the 2012 election for California State Assembly District 16. She was displaced from her current district by redistricting. She and Al Phillips (R) advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, unopposed. He was subsequently elected in the general election on November 6, 2012.[6][7]

California State Assembly, District 16, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoan Buchanan Incumbent 59.2% 125,952
     Republican Al Phillips 40.8% 86,803
Total Votes 212,755


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Buchanan won re-election to the 15th District Seat in 2010. She had no opposition in the June 8 primary. She defeated Abram Wilson in the November 2 general election.[8]

California State Assembly, District 15 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joan Buchanan (D) 104,441
Abram Wilson (R) 91,378


In 2008 Buchanan was elected to the California State Assembly District 15. Buchanan (D) finished with 125,897 votes while her opponent Abram Wilson (R) finished with 115,096 votes.[9] Buchanan raised $2,508,726 for her campaign fund.[10]

California State Assembly District 15
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joan Buchanan (D) 125,897
Abram Wilson (R) 115,096

Campaign donors


Campaign donor information is not yet available for this year.


In 2010, Buchanan raised $3,287,839 in contributions. [11]

Her four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
California Democratic Party $1,529,151
Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte $205,000
Del Norte County Democratic Central Cmte $135,000
Democratic Central Cmte Of Marin $105,000


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

Contributor 2008 total
California Democratic Party $903,997
Joan T Buchanan $129,863
Mendocino County Democratic Central Cmte $107,000
Stanislaus County Democratic Central Cmte $89,000
Democratic Central Cmte of Marin $70,000


Buchanan has five children.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Sandré Swanson (D)
California State Assembly District 16
Succeeded by
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 15
Succeeded by
Nancy Skinner (D)