Charles Poochigian

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(better known as Chuck)

Chuck Poochigian (R-Fresno) was first elected to the Legislature to represent the 29th Assembly District in 1994. In 1998, he was elected to represent California's 14th Senate District which included portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties. In November 2002, he was re-elected to the reapportioned 14th Senate District which now includes all or portions of Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties.

Senator Poochigian serves as the Assistant Republican Leader and as Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus. For the 2003-04 legislative session, he was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Constitutional Amendments Committee, Vice Chair of the Committees on Revenue and Taxation, and Agriculture and Water Resources and as a member of the Appropriations and Elections and Reapportionment Committees. The Senator also chairs the Select Committee on Central Valley Economic Development, and is a member of the Select Committee on Citizen Participation and the Legislative Rural Caucus.

Born in Fresno in 1949, Chuck is a third generation resident of the San Joaquin Valley. His family has farmed in the Valley since 1918. Chuck and his wife, Debbie, were married in 1977 and have three grown children. He received his degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fresno, in 1972 and his law degree from the University of Santa Clara in 1975. He served for six years as a member of the California Air National Guard.

He practiced general civil and business law from 1975 until November, 1988. At that time, he was chosen by then-Governor George Deukmejian to serve as a member of the Governor's senior staff as Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary, assisting the Governor in the selection of key administration officials as well as members of over 375 state boards and commissions. In 1991, Governor Pete Wilson named him as his Appointments Secretary where he served until his election to the Assembly in 1994.

He is a strong advocate of business and agriculture in California, a champion of fair and limited taxation and minimal government regulation, and a defender of rural and Central Valley communities with regard to equitable distribution of resources for infrastructure improvements, and adequate health care delivery. Senator Poochigian supports increased local control of revenues and services, including sufficient funding levels for education to sustain primary educational purposes and enable rural communities to compete in the acquisition or repair of school facilities.

Chuck Poochigian's reputation for strong leadership and hard work was recognized by the California Journal magazine which ranked him Assembly Republican "Rookie of the Year" for 1996 (out of a class of 22). He was also ranked among the top 5 legislators in the 80-member State Assembly in the following separate categories: Effectiveness, Integrity, Intelligence, Problem-solving, Potential and Overall. Similarly, in ratings released in March, 1998, he was recognized as one of the top 5 Assembly members in two categories: Integrity and Hard Work. In the June, 1999, California Journal (an issue featuring California's Central Valley), he is described as "A voice of reason highly respected for his problem-solving skills." Following the 1999 legislative session, he received recognition as Legislator of the Year from the California Business Properties Association, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, and the California Building Industry Association. Senator Poochigian was also recognized by the Association of California Water Agencies with the President's Recognition Award for his leadership in securing the passage of the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection and Flood Protection Act of 1999.

In 2000, Senator Poochigian was chosen Outstanding Senator by the California State Sheriffs' Association, and received the Legislator of the Year Award from the California State Student Association. The California Network of Educational Charters also selected Senator Poochigian Legislator of the Year for his leadership in protecting and promoting parental opportunities for public school choice.

In 2001, the Senator was chosen Legislator of the Year for the Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC), and to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for helping to pass important public safety legislation and a transportation package which will significantly benefit local communities. The Senator was also selected by the Regional Council of Rural Counties to receive the Patti Mattingly Distinguished Legislator Award for Extraordinary Support of Rural California.

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