Read Time: 3 - 4 minutes
A new ad is out in the race for California Assembly District 5 between Republicans Frank Bigelow and Rico Oller. The district, often referred to as the Foothills, is largely made up of federally owned and managed park land including Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Park, and El Dorado National Forest.
District voter registration skews in favor of Republicans who make up 43% of the district. Relying on these voters will be unlikely to secure the election. A sizable 23% of the district is not affiliated with either party and Democrats still boast 33% of the electorate.
With that in mind, candidates Frank Bigelow and Rico Oller are crafting their messages to attract voters to the polls. Oller led in the primary and outpaced Bigelow by about 5,000 votes, but this was in a crowded field where the top two candidates captured only 61% of the vote.
Under the state’s new Open Primary law, all voters will have an opportunity to ratify or change the outcome of the primary election and choose from the top two vote-getters regardless of party affiliation. AD05 is a prime example of two Republican candidates having to reach out to non-Republican voters.
In the latest ad, “enthusiastically endorsed by Rico Oller,” the candidate runs a satire piece re-casting the critically acclaimed Rob Schneider film, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, making a play on his opponent’s last name.
Setting aside the puns, the content of the ad attempts to frame Bigelow as a conservative in name only who flips between his conservative and liberal credentials. The ad criticizes the support that Oller has received from unions such as the AFL-CIO and the SEIU. The underlying message being that Oller is more proud of being a standard-bearer for the party than Bigelow.
The endorsements list on Bigelow’s webpage highlights both Democrat and Republican leaders who have come out in favor of the Madera County Supervisor. One recurring theme of the race in this district is the famous No Tax Pledge. Oller has signed the pledge, while Bigelow has not.
Whether independent voters are swayed by the allegiance to doctrine will soon be determined.
The full ad and a transcript are available below.
Now showing at a campaign near you, Frank Bigelow Union Gigolo! In this blockbuster, you will marvel as Frank Bigelow transforms himself from a pro-tax liberal to a proven conservative in the first act and back to a liberal in the second. Conservatives and liberals alike will ooh and aah as Frank Bigelow captures big Sacramento union money. You know this is a big show for everybody. But that’s not all! Frank has a powerful supporting cast. The AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and so many other big unions they ruthlessly attack our conservative hero, Rico Oller, but Rico’s supporting cast, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the National Federation of Independent Business step up to his defense. That’s right folks, it’s all here in Frank Bigelow Union Gigolo. Never has an actor been so nimble, so able to change character. Continuously showing through November 6th. Paid for enthusiastically by Rico Oller for Assembly 2012.