Sacramento pastor Tecoy Porter lands key Weber endorsement for state Senate seat

Darrell Smith, Sacramento Bee. July 14 2021

Pastor and State Senate District 6 candidate Dr. Tecoy Porter picked up a key endorsement Wednesday landing California Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s support for the seat.

In a statement released by Porter’s campaign, Weber talks of Porter’s community roots and his work to help shepherd Weber’s successful police use-of-force legislation to passage in 2019. 

“Dr. Porter has shown up and spoken out on behalf of his community and its needs for decades,” Weber said in the statement. “His support and deep roots in the community was critical to getting my police use-of-force legislation passed in 2019. He is a leader of vision, perseverance and the common touch much needed in the Legislature. Tecoy Porter has my strong endorsement.”

Weber’s AB 392 established one of the most stringent use-of-force standards in the nation when it was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019.

Porter is a newcomer in a crowded field of political veterans, facing off against former state insurance commissioner Dave Jones and Sacramento city council members Eric Guerra and Angelique Ashby for the seat now held by Dr. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento. The incumbent Pan endorsed Ashby, who represents North Natomas on the council, in May.

Pan’s term expires in 2022.

Porter, the longtime lead pastor at Genesis Church in Sacramento’s Meadowview neighborhood, spoke of his “call to action” in a January interview, spurred by the 2018’s deadly shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police and the protests that followed. Genesis Church became a community touchstone in the aftermath of Clark’s death. The shooting would inspire Porter’s run for public office — his first. 

Porter is also Sacramento chair of the civil rights organization National Action Network. State Senate District 6 includes Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento and parts of Sacramento County.

“Working for all Californians and being a voice in that space — after Clark, I started thinking about it,” Porter told The Sacramento Bee. “It was a big decision that I didn’t take lightly. And, I think there’s a pathway to winning.”

That call was amplified in 2020 by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Porter, a Twin Cities native from a family of clergy, spoke forcefully on the need for police reform in the wake of Floyd’s death; sponsored state legislation barring police from using carotid artery chokeholds to detain people; and helped plan and coordinate Floyd’s Minneapolis memorial service.

“Being a non-politician in this race makes me stand out,” Porter said in the Wednesday statement. “An endorsement by a pioneering legislator confirms that my campaign has momentum and having her endorsement and trust means the world to me.”

Weber, California’s first Black Secretary of State, also broke barriers in the Assembly. The San Diego-area lawmaker served four terms in the chamber, becoming the first Black woman to chair the assembly’s Budget Committee.

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