Richard Pan was elected to the State Senate in 2014 after serving two terms in the State Assembly, where he represented District 5 and, subsequent to 2010 redistricting, District 9.
Since prevailing in his first election over fellow Democrat and former Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson, who beat him by nine points in the primary, Pan hasn’t faced serious opposition. He won re-election in 2018 by nearly 40 points over independent challenger Eric Frame.
Despite his popularity, Pan has faced multiple unsuccessful recall attempts, which he attributed to his opposition to the anti-vaccine movement and “anti-vaxxers.”
A trained pediatrician and dentist, Dr. Pan went into teaching after earning a master’s in public health from Harvard. He and his wife have two children and live in the Natomas neighborhood of Sacramento.
SB 17: This recent bill, which Pan introduced Dec. 7, 2020, would require the California Department of Health to reference racism as a public health crisis. A legislative tracking website states that the law can be acted on a month after its introduction.
SB 277: Pan’s legislative website notes that Time magazine referred to Pan as an “unsung hero” after he authored a bill “to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students, thereby restoring community immunity from preventable contagions.” The 2015 bill, which Pan introduced with fellow Democrat Ben Allen, passed the Senate by a vote of 24-14 and the Assembly by 46-31 and was signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.
AB 1506: One of 46 sponsors in both the assembly and the state senate, Pan supported establishing a division within the State Department of Justice to review use-of-force policies for law enforcement and requires state prosecutors to investigate officer-involved shootings. It passed in 2020, not long after Pan tweeted that an anti-vaccination activist was “inciting violence against people protesting racism and police brutality.”
Pan’s district spans much of Sacramento County and part of Yolo County, including the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento, and Elk Grove.
Budget and Fiscal Review
Business, Professions, and Economic Development
Fairs, Allocation, and Classification
Labor, Public Employment and Retirement
Senator Pan has two offices. To schedule a meeting, click here.