Fiona Ma will seek Board of Equalization seat, not Senate
Facing term limits next year, state Assemblywoman Fiona Ma said Tuesday that she will run for a Board of Equalization seat in 2014.
The San Francisco lawmaker said her background and education as a certified public accountant, plus her past work as a liaison to the Board of Equalization when she was an aide to former state Sen. John Burton, make her a good fit for the job.
"A lot of time — and my parents’ money — have gone into my education," said Ma, who has represented District 12, including parts of San Francisco and San Mateo County, since 2006. "I think this is very important, given the fiscal crisis the state is in right now. BOE brings in 35 percent of revenues."
The board collects state sales tax — as well as taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco — and distributes the money to local jurisdictions.
Ma could have sought state Sen. Mark Leno’s seat, but she described him as a friend she doesn’t want to challenge. The assemblywoman said she was hoping she could have taken over the seat of state Sen. Leland Yee if he had been victorious in the San Francisco mayoral race. Yee will be termed out in 2014, but redrawn districts will put Peninsula-area Assemblyman Jerry Hill in a better position to win the district, Ma said.
Ma will be vying for a seat representing a large district from the Oregon border to Santa Barbara County, which is being vacated by Betty Yee in 2014.
Ma also recently married Ventura County firefighter Jason Hodge, who is seeking a state Senate seat there. Although a new job with the Board of Equalization would allow her to be closer to her husband, Ma said she wants to stay in San Francisco and continue a long-distance relationship.
"That’s what we’ve been doing," Ma said. "It works — we’re not going to have kids."
Meanwhile, local politicos are rumored to be eyeing Ma’s Assembly seat, including Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting and Supervisor Carmen Chu.