NAME: Dan Chick
JOB TITLE: Caucus Chief-of-Staff for Senator Dick Ackerman
Capitol Weekly: So how did you get into politics?
Dan Chick: It was pretty haphazard. I was living up in the Santa Cruz/San
Jose area. My father had been active in local San Diego/North County
politics and was City Councilman in Carlsbad. It was sort of like a Kennedy
dinner table where you always had to have some kind of current event to talk
about. In 1992, Bill Morrow was running for Assemblyman and called me and
asked me to work on his ground operation and I was in a job that I hated and
so I said okay. It was a well-contested primary and Bill won by something
like 640 votes.
CW: And you have worked for Senator Ackerman for how long?
DC: For about eight months. Before that I had about three or four months
with Jim Brulte, which was great. I was really blessed because I have had
incredible mentors since I have worked here. Sometimes you get people who
work for members, and they have a hard time even getting through the day.
CW: What is interesting about your experience in the Capitol?
DC: A unique thing about my experience in the Capitol is that my wife and I
met while working together for Bill Morrow. We worked together for Morrow
for seven years. We were one of the Capitol couples. Then I went off to work
for the caucus and then I went on to lobby. You get separation anxiety when
you work with your wife for so long and then all of a sudden you are not.
When you are working together, and you have a bad day, you both have a bad
day. When you have a good day, you both have a good day. It’s not like you
have to go home and ask how her day was, because you already know.
CW: So how do you blow off steam from a stressful day at the Capitol?
DC: I do a lot of off-road riding- motocross riding- since I was a kid. My
brother, who is a former pro-athlete, and is five years older, got into it
about six years ago after I was riding for a while and he went wild with it.
He goes to all the AMA district 35 and 36 races. I raced in three of them
and beat my body up pretty good. It makes you feel a little funny when you
are in the senior class of off-road racing. It’s a lot of fun and a great
way to blow off stress when you can go as fast as you can through the desert
or the forest.
CW: And what are your goals for working as the caucus Chief-of-Staff?
DC: My goal here is to see that the floor sessions run smoothly and that
there is good communication between the minority and majority sides.