Kenneth Dickson on the Race for the 36th Senate District

Guest Column Guest Column


SD Rostra invited the Republican candidates competing in the 36th State Senate District race (succeeding Dennis Hollingsworth) to submit a guest column.  The commentaries have been posted in the order received prior to the deadline. Candidate submissions received after the original postings will be added as they come in, but in no case will any additional columns be added if they are written as rebuttals to the initially posted commentaries.

Guest Commentary

This election is about restoring integrity, transparency, and accountability to our government which is now bloated and abusive, rather than protective and respectful of our citizens.  Sadly, our legislature has become captive to special interests which threaten our values and freedoms.  Out-of-control spending at all government levels, often just to further the future prospects of career politicians, has brought California to the brink of bankruptcy.

We must create jobs immediately by resolutely holding the line on taxes and by reducing oppressive regulations to restore our business climate.  We must also protect our future by more efficiently preparing our youth for 21st Century jobs with updated educational opportunities.  These objectives, however, cannot be met without upholding the rule-of-law regarding our borders and without conscientious cooperation with diverse interests whenever appropriate.  My goal is to be an effective advocate for the citizens of this very special district and to advance its core conservative Constitutional values.  We must, we can, and we shall do better in Sacramento.

In 1970 I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Kansas and a commission in the USAF.  In 1973 I earned my law degree from Duke University School of Law.  My Professional Military Education includes graduation from the Air War College, National Security Management Course and Air Command and Staff College.

Throughout my Judge Advocate career (Lt. Col. USAF, Ret.) my responsibilities involved various assignments throughout the country as a prosecutor, as a government contracts trial attorney, and as an environmental law counsel.  In essence, my duties were to protect the ethics and the budget of a very good organization.

Following active duty I served as a law clerk to a Federal District Court judge in San Diego and then practiced law there until 1992 when I was selected to be civilian legal counsel for the environmental cleanup (CERCLA) effort at March AFB.  Since 1996 I have maintained a more limited law practice in Murrieta, and I currently teach law classes for Mt. San Jacinto College as an adjunct professor.

In addition to my legal career, my public service includes 12 years as a Trustee on the Murrieta School Board and with other volunteer civic organizations including the Gideons International, the Salvation Army, as an allied Attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, The Lincoln Club of Southwest Riverside County and as a member of the Republican Party Riverside County Central Committee.

My wife Susan and I have been married for 37 years.  We have two children and four grandchildren.  Our son is a graduate of the USAF Academy and an active duty C-17 pilot in Alaska; our Daughter, a UCLA graduate, is employed in Atlanta with an international workforce consultant agency.

My roots go deep into Midwest soil; beginning with a grandfather who came to America in search in of its promise at age 11.  Matthew Dickson was never able to see his parents again, and worked his entire adult life on the same Kansas farm.  He and my grandmother labored sacrificially through two wars and a major depression to raise six children and to educate them all to have career options far beyond the place they still call home.  They also passed down an enduring ethic of work, thrift, education, optimism and faith.

I have always held that true strength and security come from faith and the family unit; that governments are ordained to support individuals and families (never the other way around), and that past accomplishments are the best indicators of character and future actions.  Throughout my professional experience, and others I have been fortunate to have, I have gained knowledge of government and our legal systems that I believe have developed the skills required to effectively serve in Sacramento.  My motivation for doing so is honor the sacrifices of earlier generations who have provided us with the security and prosperity that we still enjoy, and to try to preserve that for the upcoming generations.

Please visit for more information about my candidacy and thank you for your consideration.


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