Kenneth L. Maddy

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Kenneth Leon Maddy (May 22, 1934 – February 19, 2000) was a Republican member of the California State Assembly and State Senate from Fresno.

"As someone who spent nearly three decades in the Capitol attempting to craft Bipartisan solutions to the State's problems, I have seen firsthand that moderation in forming policy is in the best interest of California." - Senator Kenneth L. Maddy

Maddy was born in Santa Monica. He attended Fresno State College and graduated in 1957 with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. He served in the State Assembly for Fresno County from 1971 to 1978.

Maddy ran unsuccessfully for governor in the 1978 Republican primary, having finished in third place with 484,583 votes (19.2 percent). The nomination went to state Attorney General Evelle J. Younger, but he was defeated by the Democratic Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr., in the general election.

Maddy was then elected to the State Senate in 1978 and served there until 1998. He was the chairman for the Senate Republican Caucus from 1979 to 1983 and was the Republican Leader of the Senate from 1987 to 1995.

Maddy received numerous awards during his lifetime, including the CSU Alumnus of the Year Award in 1981 and the CSU Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He died in 2000, and was interred in Inglewood Memorial Park in Inglewood, California.

March 4, 2000 - 'A Celebration of the Life of Kenneth L. Maddy'

"Born in Santa Monica, California, Kenneth Leon Maddy graduated from Inglewood High School (1952), CSU-Fresno (1957) and UCLA Law School - JD (1963). Before attending law school, he served in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Police Officer (1957-1960). He practiced law and lived in Fresno, California until elected to the State Assembly in 1970. As a young lawyer, he became one of the few attorneys to argue successfully a case before the United States Supreme Court. Because of his active community involvement and strong local campaign, he won an upset election in one of the most Democratic districts in the State.

He represented the Central Valley in both the Assembly and Senate through three reapportionments - overcoming determined efforts to defeat him. His straightforward, no-nonsense approach to government earned him strong support in the district, as it did in the State Capitol. He served in the Assembly from 1970-1978. He was a candidate for Governor in 1978 and finished third in a crowded primary. Although he was not successful, the campaign elevated the "unknown Assembly from Fresno" to the ranks of state political leadership. It also raised the conscience of the state with respect to the power of the Central Valley and the agricultural vote. He was elected in a special election in 1979 to the State Senate where he served as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus 1979-1983. He served as Republican Leader of the State Senate 1987-1995. Term Limits ended his political career in 1998. In 1999, Maddy joined the international public relations and public affairs firm of Fleishman-Hillard as Senior Vice-President and Partner.

At an early age, with his parents(Russell and Anna Thomas), brother(Lloyd) and sister(Marilyn Brazell), he developed a passion for horse racing. His passion never diminished, and he became the major force for re-establishing the racing industry in California, as we know it today. He authored and provided dynamic leadership in achieving license fee reduction in 1998, which greatly benefited all segments of the industry and kept California competitive with other states. Ken was the author of the bill that authorized satellite wagering in California in 1997. His most important and significant legislative contributions to the industry have been the California Center for Equine Health and Performance and the Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the University of California at Davis.

In 1991 he and John Harris bred a dark bay filly by Political Ambition out of Katanbera, a mare they had acquired for $6,500. The filly was named Work the Crowd. She went on to be the champion California Bred horse in three different categories; best 2-year-old filly, best 3-year-old filly, and best older turf horse. She retired with earnings of $644,550, having won 14 of 22 starts, including 12 different stakes, with 5 graded stakes victories racing some of the best fillies and mares in the nation.

This horse had been his pride and joy! Work the Crowd is now grazing in a green pasture raising a brood of future champions. Her 3-year-old is named Work the Room and her 2-year-old is Thrill the Crowd. Even during his most difficult days in battling cancer, he would gather the strength to go to Harris Ranch near Coalinga to see their progress.

Senator Maddy leaves a rich legacy of leadership in public service. He has long been in the forefront on legislative battles, including ethics standards for state legislators; anti-crime initiatives; private property rights; reducing the scope of governmental regulation on agriculture, business and industry, water, farm labor and land use balanced by a healthy respect for the environmental concerns of his district. He has often been on the cutting edge of health issues such as Medi-Cal and Welfare Reform, freestanding cardiac catheterization labs, surgi-centers, and most recently the Healthy Families Act. He played a major role in resolving budget disputes under four different governors where his ability to work with people and earn their confidence enabled him to handle the most sensitive budget negotiations. He worked and fought hard to see that the special needs of his district, the Central Valley and California agriculture received the same attention as other issues of statewide concern.

The Senator received many awards and honors throughout his career. He was recognized in the state and nationally as one of the outstanding state legislators. On October 4, 1999 his colleagues and friends dedicated The Kenneth L. Maddy Institute of Public Policy at CSU-Fresno as a vital training ground for the next generation of Valley politicians. This institute will serve as a lasting legacy for the people he loved and represented for so many years. A proud graduate of Fresno State, he served as a member of the Presidents Club and the Bulldog Foundation.

The Senator had a passion for life, his family, public policy, horse racing, golf, and most of all - his relationships; he treated everybody with dignity and respect. His memory will continue to enrich each and everyone's life that knew him.

He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Anna Thomas of Citrus Heights; his sister, Mrs. Marilyn Brazell of Citrus Heights; his three children, son, Donald Paul Maddy and wife Elizabeth of Sacramento, daughter, Deanna and husband Jim Hose of Sacramento, daughter, daughter, Marilyn and husband Mark Geis of Fresno; 5 grandchildren: Janelle and A.J. Hose, Brandon and Bryan Geis, and Elena Maddy; his fiancée Marie Moretti; 4 nephews, Steven, Vincent, and Greg Brazell and Lon Maddy. He was married to Beverly Chinello (1957-1980) and Norma Foster (1981-1998), and is survived by stepchildren Jayne Waters, Ron Foster, Laurie Wesenberg, Janet Nicholson, Susie Sutherland, Carrie Belew and 13 step grandchildren. His father, Russell Maddy, and brother, Lloyd Maddy, predeceased him."

March 8, 2000 - 'A Memorial Resolution'

"Senator Kenneth L. Maddy served the People of California with the highest standards of leadership and integrity in public service. His record of accomplishment and achievement will long be remembered.

In his legislative career of twenty-eight years, he tackled the most difficult issues with a remarkable ability to get divergent interests to see the common good in finding solutions and making government work. Whether he was serving as a committee chairman or in the Senate leadership, his passion for solving problems was unequalled.

He could disagree without being disagreeable. He could find common ground between the Governor and the Legislature where there seemed to be none. He could gain the confidence of everyone because he believed in and cared about people.

His skillful and talented approach as a legislator will be studied and followed at the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno. His legacy and memory will be there to serve as a guide and standard for generations to come and to help groom new leaders for the future.

His love and passion for horse racing will forever be remembered at the Kenneth L. Maddy Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and the California Center for Equine Health and Performance at the University of California, Davis. He had a true love for the sport of horse racing and the people in it.

He will be remembered in the Senate for more than just his skills as a legislator. He carried himself with grace and a remarkable ability to work with people; he possessed inherent charm; he was a quick study, with a strong sense of realism and unquestioned ethical values. He loved his family and his friends; he will be missed for his friendliness and for his treating everyone with dignity and respect.

He constantly held the Senate up as an institution that made everyone proud, and we were always proud of Senator Ken Maddy." - Sal Russo, a friend


Kenneth L. Maddy Institute, Department of Political Science, California State University-Fresno

Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis

Sacramento Area Youth Golf (SAY Golf), Freeport Boulevard, Sacramento

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
George Zenovich
California State Assemblyman, 32nd District
Succeeded by
Gordon W. Duffy
Preceded by
John E. Thurman
California State Assemblyman, 30th District
Succeeded by
Jim Costa