|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 8th district
January 3, 2021
|Member of the California State Assembly|
from the 33rd district
December 1, 2014 - November 30, 2020
Jay Phillip Obernolte
August 18, 1970
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Residence||Big Bear Lake, California, U.S.|
Jay Phillip Obernolte ( OH-b?r-nohl-tee; born August 18, 1970) is an American politician, businessman, and video game developer serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 8th district. He was previously a Republican member of the California State Assembly representing the 33rd district. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Obernolte served in the city council and was the mayor of Big Bear Lake, California. He is the owner, president, and technical director of FarSight Studios, an American video game developer established in 1990.
Obernolte was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Fresno, California. He graduated from Edison/Computech High School in 1988. In 1992, he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and applied science from California Institute of Technology and in 1997, he received his Master of Science in artificial intelligence from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Obernolte launched FarSight Studios, an independent developer and publisher of family-friendly video games for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Apple iPhone and PC, in 1990. Notable games FarSight Studios has developed include Game Party, Hotel for Dogs and Pinball Hall of Fame. FarSight Studios claims Sony, Microsoft, Google, and Apple among its clients and employs 25 workers.
In 2010, Obernolte was elected to Big Bear City Council, where he served as Mayor. Obernolte also served on the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection Board, director of the Mojave Desert and Mountain Integrated Waste JPA Board, the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority Board, and on the League of California Cities Desert-Mountain Division.
Obernolte has served as State Assemblyman for California's 33rd State Assembly district, which encompasses a wide expanse of the High Desert (areas of the Mojave Desert), from the eastern fringes of Los Angeles metropolitan area to the Nevada and Arizona borders, since 2014.
Obernolte was endorsed by the California Republican Party, San Bernardino County Republican party, the California Republican Assembly, The Press-Enterprise, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), San Bernardino County Safety Employee's Benefit Association (SEBA), the California Conservative Christians, and the Independent Voter Political Action Committee.
In the June 2014 primary, Obernolte finished second with 18.89% of the vote with 7,887 votes and faced Democrat John Coffey in the November 2014 general election, winning with 65.9% of the vote.
|Republican||Jerry J. Laws||814||1.9|
|Republican||Robert J. "Bob" Burhle||802||1.9|
In the June 2016 primary, Obernolte finished first with 60.7% of the vote with 43,526 votes and faced Democrat Scott Markovich in the November 2016 general election, winning with 60.6% of the vote.
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||43,526||60.7|
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||84,000||60.60|
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||43,100||65.8|
|Republican||Jay Obernolte (incumbent)||72,109||60.2|
In September 2019, after Paul Cook announced his retirement from California's 8th congressional district, Obernolte announced his intention to run. Obernolte's biggest concerns are taking care of veterans and holding the VA accountable, securing the border and cracking down on human and drug trafficking, and lowering taxes. He also supports creating jobs and helping small businesses, working with public safety officials to reduce the number of gangs and violent criminals, and cutting wasteful government spending to address the federal budget deficit.
On February 4, 2021, Obernolte voted against the removal of Marjorie Taylor Greene of her House Education and Labor Committee, and House Budget Committee assignments in response to controversial political statements she had made. Only 11 Republicans had crossed party lines and supported the Democrats.
On February 25, 2021 Obernolte voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to explicitly include new protections.
In January 2016, Obernolte was elected to served on the California Legislative Technology and Innovation Caucus, which is co-chaired by Assemblymembers Ian Calderon and Evan Low. Obernolte also sits on the following committees: Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media as Vice Chair; Budget as Vice Chair; Appropriations; Budget Subcommittee 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation; Budget Subcommittee 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation; Utilities and Commerce; Joint Committee on Arts; and Joint Legislative Budget.
In January 2021, Obernolte voted with six other California representatives (Darrell Issa, Mike Garcia, Doug LaMalfa, Ken Calvert, Devin Nunes and Kevin McCarthy) to reject the certification of Pennsylvania votes cast during the 2020 presidential election. He stated "earlier this week I swore an oath to protect and defend our constitution, which is why I will support the objection to Electoral College results for states where election practices were changed without the consent of that state's legislature...this is not a partisan decision, and I will support those objections regardless of which presidential candidate won an affected state."
Obernolte authored Assembly Bill 1642, which would extend the deadlines to either pay the fire tax, which is a state fire prevention fee, or file a petition for redetermination from 30 days to 60 days. In July 2017, the fire fee was suspended as part of Assembly Bill 398.
Obernolte opposes increases in the minimum wage. In an April 2016 op-ed published in the San Bernardino Sun, Obernolte wrote on the effects of increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He wrote that "income inequality is the defining challenge of our generation" and the recent push to increase the minimum wage "is an effort to address the very real problem that wages are less than we feel they should be. However, we need to remember that income inequality is the result of a multitude of factors -- among them, globalization, technological change, the efficient employment of capital and changing institutions. In other words, low wages are a symptom of the problem of income inequality, not the root cause of income inequality."
In April 2016, Frontier Communications took over Verizon's voice, video, data, and FiOS network. In May 2016, Obernolte voiced his concern over Frontier Communications' acquisition of Verizon services noting that it has "negatively affected my constituents... It is particularly disturbing to me that the public safety of our residents has been threatened by the faulty landline telephone service they have experienced since the (acquisition)."
In May 2016, Obernolte introduced Assembly Bill 2341, which would provide San Bernardino and other rural counties with additional judges to resolve backlogged court systems. "San Bernardino County currently faces an unacceptable shortage of judicial officers. My hope is that this bill will provide the necessary judicial resources to alleviate this critical problem" Obernolte said. The bill would have shifted seats from Santa Clara and Alameda counties to the counties in San Bernardino but it died in the Senate Appropriations Committee without a hearing.
In January 2017, Obernolte released a statement on his opposition to Xavier Becerra's nomination as California's Attorney General stating, "While Congressman Becerra possesses many of the qualifications necessary in an Attorney General, many of his positions on constitutional issues deeply concern me. His stances on both the First and Second Amendments clearly don't align with my values or those of my constituents. California's Attorney General should be committed to protecting these Constitutional rights."
Every year, California State Assemblymembers select a veteran in their district to be recognized as the Veteran of the Year and honored in Sacramento with a ceremony and luncheon. In 2015, Obernolte awarded Hesperia Chamber of Commerce President Brad Letner. In 2017, Anthony "Tony" Cooker was recognized as the 2017 Veteran of the Year for the 33rd Assembly District. In 2019, he recognized United States Army Veteran Ed Morgan as Veteran of the Year.
Obernolte stated that Governor Jerry Brown's $179.45 billion budget proposal, which focused on "long-term fiscal responsibility", was "responsible", although he expressed a preference for fixing existing programs over creating new ones. Obernolte also stated an interest in funding job skills training, improving the state's Denti-Cal program, repairing infrastructure, and working on the housing crisis. Obernolte pushed for lawmakers to limit long-term funding commitments and also noted that the budget proposal does nothing to address the "state's out-of-control pension debts and retiree health care liabilities."
Obernolte co-authored Assembly Bill 1103, which would have allowed California bicyclists to roll through stop signs if it was safe to do so. The bill was based on a law adopted by Idaho in 1982. Under the proposed legislation, cyclists would be authorized to "[approach] a stop sign, after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way, to cautiously make a turn or proceed through the intersection without stopping, unless safety considerations require otherwise." The bill died in committee.
Obernolte holds an airline transport pilot's license. He is also a certified flight instructor and has flown light aircraft since 2005. He worked with Embraer as a member on its Pilot Advisory Board during the development of the Phenom 300. Obernolte is a member of the Young Eagles, a program created by the US Experimental Aircraft Association designed to give children an opportunity to experience flight in a general aviation airplane while educating them about aviation.
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 33rd district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 8th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States representatives by seniority