Rising Stars: Chloe Bowman, office of Assemblymember Joe Patterson

Chloe Bowman, photo by Scott Duncan Photography

In this highly polarized world, a young Republican legislative director believes it is still possible to rise above political differences.

Chloe Bowman, 27, who works for Assemblymember Joe Patterson, R-Rocklin, backs it up with action. She is engaged to marry a Democrat who also works at the Capitol.

To her, politics is just one part of life, not an entire identity. “Everyone is a person outside of their political views,” she said.

Just five years out of college, Bowman has gained a reputation as a “standout” in California state politics, said Katie Phillips, chief consultant to Assembly Republican leader James Gallagher of Yuba City.

“Whether Chloe was advocating for an association, strategizing for a consulting firm, campaigning for a candidate or managing the nuances of a California state assemblymember, Chloe always goes above and beyond the task at hand,” Philips said. “Chloe navigates our stressful and chaotic world with a smile on her face and persistence to deliver for her boss. Chloe has quickly risen above to be the mentor we wished we had. Chloe is the epitome of a jack-of-all trades and has an immense amount of respect from her peers in the California state legislature.”

As legislative director, Bowman creates bill packages, meets with stakeholders and works with constituents to make sure their concerns are addressed while following the priorities of her assemblymember.

“What I like most about my job is there’s something new every day and you’re always learning,” she said.

One of the most difficult parts of the job is keeping up with the break-neck schedule. “I’m so busy, I can’t breathe or eat lunch,” she said, adding that she is sad that she can’t help younger staff members. “It’s hard to be the best mentor and try to fulfill your own job at the same time.”

Bowman’s position is also challenging because Patterson is new to the legislature and most of his staff is new as well. But she said it is invigorating seeing state government through newcomers’ eyes.

“It’s a breath of life coming into the Capitol,” she said.

“What I like most about my job is there’s something new every day and you’re always learning.”

Previously, she served as legislative director for Assemblymember Frank Bigelow, R-Madera and a legislative aide/scheduler for Assemblymember Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel. She also worked as a membership and policy associate for the California Taxpayers Association, and interned at a public affairs firm in Sacramento.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Bowman had many childhood friends whose families worked at the Capitol, but never thought she would end up there one day herself. She was thinking about becoming an elementary school teacher until she took a political science class that she really liked at Gonzaga University in Spokane.

While Gonzaga was a “pretty liberal school,” she had friends on both ends of the political spectrum. “We didn’t talk politics,” she said.

Bowman considers herself a moderate Republican and believes she would be considered a Democrat if she lived anywhere but California. What draws her to the Republican party, as it did her parents, is economic values. She believes in working hard to overcome obstacles – a lesson she learned from her father, a mortgage broker who died when she was a sophomore in high school.

When she’s not working, she enjoys exercising, including doing Pilates, strength training and conditioning; going on adventures with her fiancé and watching movies. She spends a lot of time with her mom, who was a homemaker and a flight attendant before following Bowman into politics. Now, Bowman’s mother is a field representative for state Sen. Roger Niello, R-Roseville.

As to the future, Bowman’s career goals are to stay at the Legislature for the near term. Though she grew up going to the Capitol often, she said she still has a lot to learn. “There’s so much more to this than what I saw growing up,” she said. Outside of the Capitol, she might be in interested in position in health or government affairs at some point.

She remains committed to relating to people as whole people rather than just their political views. “There was a time in the world it didn’t matter what party you were,” she said. “My hope is that we can get to that again. We can all be friends no matter what.”

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