Jay Obernolte is a business owner, legislator, and taxpayer advocate who has lived in California’s 8th Congressional District for over 25 years. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Caltech and a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from UCLA. In 1990 Jay started FarSight Studios, a videogame development company, in his college dorm room. Since then he has created hundreds of jobs and today, FarSight Studios employs dozens of residents of the 8th Congressional District. While running a successful business, Jay and his wife Heather also raised their two sons, Hale and Troy.
Jay has 15 years of experience in public service. He was first elected to a local airport board in 2005, followed by 4 years of service on a city council and two terms as Mayor of the City of Big Bear Lake. In 2014 he was elected to the California State Assembly and has represented 65% of the 8th Congressional District in Sacramento since then.
Jay has received awards from the California Small Business Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the American Society for Public Administration for his accomplishments as a state legislator. Jay has passed more legislation than any other current state lawmaker in the Inland Empire of either party, while simultaneously staying true to his values.
Using his background as a tech entrepreneur, Jay is working to update our state government and make it more efficient and transparent. An example of this is AB 890 and AB 195 which changed the law in California to require tax increases and property taxes requiring voter approval to include clear disclosures on the ballot. Jay is a leading advocate for taxpayers and holds a lifetime 100% voting record with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association as a result of helping to defeat over $300 billion in harmful tax increases, including a recent $220 million tax hike on drinking water.
Jay also has varied hobbies. Jay has an airline transport pilot’s license. He is also a certified flight instructor and has flown light aircraft for 30 years. As a pilot Jay volunteers with the Veterans Airlift Command, providing transportation to wounded and disabled veterans. He is also a 5th degree black belt in Pacific Unified Martial Arts and owned PUMA Karate in Big Bear Lake until his election to the California Legislature.
Jay understands the challenges and opportunities of the 8th Congressional District. He is passionate about taking his record of creating jobs and his success with passing beneficial legislation to Washington DC with the goal of improving the quality of life for all Americans.