Currently in his fourth term, Republican Heath Flora cruised to re-election in the most recent cycle in November 2022, winning nearly 70 percent of the vote against Democratic challenger Mushtaq Tahirkheli.
Hailing from Stanislaus County and living in Ripon, a small city near the Stanislaus River, the 39-year-old Flora has never faced a close reelection, winning by at least 20 points in 2018 and 2020. Flora has become a leader within his party during his time in the Assembly, currently serving as a vice chair on three committees.
His only tight race for the State Assembly was his first, when he was initially elected in 2016 to succeed three-term Republican Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, who termed out of office. To earn his seat, Flora beat Ken Vogel, a former San Joaquin County, by 52.32 percent to 47.68 percent. Ahead of that primary, Vogel got a judge to prevent Flora from being able to refer to himself as a farmer on the official ballot, according to the Modesto Bee.
The biography page on Flora’s legislative website notes that he was raised on a farm and has been a salesperson, farmer, volunteer firefighter, and owner of Golden Valley Equipment, which sells used agricultural equipment.
Flora’s time as a volunteer firefighter included assisting in the 2009 rescue of a 19-year-old man who’d become trapped in three feet of dirt when a trench collapsed on him at a west Modesto farm. “He was completely buried,” Flora told the Modesto Bee. “We uncovered a leg at first, a piece of denim. Then we spread our search out a little more and then uncovered his back. Then we found his head. We lifted his head straight out, he took a nice deep breath and seemed to be recovered hopefully.”
Flora has two children and is married to wife Melodie Flora, who filed for divorce in April 2022. In July 2022, a former lobbyist for a California organization made allegations that Flora had “engaged in multiple extramarital affairs while serving constituents in Sacramento, including one with herself,” according to the San Joaquin Valley Sun. The Floras’ divorce case was still pending as of January 2023.
The legislation page on Flora’s assembly website is currently empty. The website Bill Track 50 shows that he has never had a bill that he’s sponsored pass or be signed into law, though five assembly resolutions he’s sponsored have been enacted. They include resolutions for Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Lunar New Year, and Korean American Day.
District Boundaries and Office Locations
Flora’s district spans much of the area east of Tracy and Stockton and south of Sacramento and Elk Grove. His legislative website notes that the district includes Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, and Galt. Offices can be found as follows: