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Health insurance broker vying for Assembly seat

STAFF WRITER

LAKE ARROWHEAD • A small business owner and political newcomer is running for the 33rd Assembly District and has tabbed the incumbent’s former chief of staff to run her campaign.

Michelle Ambrozic, 32, is the latest of candidates to declare their intention to replace Assembly-man Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) in the district that includes Barstow as Donnelly pushes forward with a gubernatorial run.

Ambrozic’s campaign will be managed by Gregg Imus, who was Donnelly’s chief of staff in 2010. Imus won the Republican U.S. Congressional Primary in 2012, but was ultimately defeated by U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) in the 8th Congressional District.

Ambrozic, a self-proclaimed Republican conservative, admitted that challenges as a former political outsider include not having the established resources that veteran politicians have, yet she felt that being a fresh face may also work in her favor.

“I’m not a career politician,” she said Sunday by phone, “and I think people like that about me. I’m not climbing the ladder, so-to-speak.”

She will run on a platform that includes lowering state income and sales taxes and deregulating gun control for law-abiding citizens, according to her campaign website, www.michelle forassembly.com. The Lake Arrowhead resident will also seek to reduce funding to a “bloated educational bureaucracy” and restore money to programs that emphasize music, sports, art and career-training related and school-to-work instructional services.

A campaign news release announcing her candidacy for the 33rd Assembly District states Ambrozic will tout “her expertise in consumer relations working in the health insurance industry” to address issues regarding the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s constantly changing and that’s one of the biggest battles we face,” she said by phone. The impact of ACA is felt “a lot more locally than we would expect it to.”

Ambrozic, who calls herself a proponent for patient-centered health care rather than government-designed, pledges to create incentives for doctors to come to and stay in the 33rd District; provide tax relief for primary care physicians by way of state tax exemptions; reduce and eliminate regulatory measures for providers who come to the 33rd District; and work with insurance companies in an effort to expand networks and renegotiate provider reimbursement rates to be comparable to pre-ACA market standards.

Ambrozic, a mother of three children, has lived in Lake Arrowhead for 10 years with her husband, she said, and is a University of Arizona graduate, according to her website.

She joins a field of 33rd Assembly District candidates that includes Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Rick Roelle, University of California, Irvine graduate teaching assistant Brett Savage and Rim of the World Unified School District Board Trustee Scott Markovich.

Prospective candidates for the 33rd Assembly District have until March 7 to officially register with the Secretary of State.


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