Screenshot from the Cheryl Cook-Kallio campaign ad 
paid for by the California Democratic Party.

California state Democrats believe the 16th Assembly District is ripe for the retaking. But first, they just need to introduce their alternative to first-term Assemblymember Catharine Baker, the only Republican state legislator representing the East Bay.

The party released a 30-second commercial Monday to establish the credentials of Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a former Pleasanton councilmember. (See the ad below) 

It’s the first ad of the fall campaign from either candidate and is scheduled to begin airing Monday on cable television.“This is definitely the first salvo in this campaign,” said Michael Soller, communication director for the California Democratic Party.

Informational, while being playful, the ad intersperses Cook-Kallio’s background as a school teacher and former public official, along with support for her campaign from Planned Parenthood. The latter is important for Cook-Kallio’s campaign, which plans to challenge Baker’s voting record on some women’s issues.

Baker recently received a F+ grade from Planned Parenthood and voted with Republicans in opposing an equal pay for equal work bill during her first-term in Sacramento.

As oppose to other East Bay districts where Republicans are an endangered species, Democrats in the moderate Tri Valley and Contra Costa County district only hold a nearly 10-point registration advantage. In addition, the district is uniquely predisposed toward moderates.

But,the ad buy indicates just how much state Democratic leaders believe the 16th District is up-for-grabs. Through the first week of September, the California Democratic Party has contributed more than $150,000 to Cook-Kallio’s campaign.