Edgy Interview: Jessica Patterson
Jessica Millan Patterson has proved that women within the Republican Party can rise and make a difference. She’s helmed the CAGOP since 2019 as the first Latina and the first woman to lead the Party. In that role Jessica takes the fight to Democrats across the state. But just as important, as you’ll read in this installment of the Edgy Interview, she’s a mom who’s raising two strong girls. The family lives in Simi Valley, a stone’s throw away from her hero’s Presidential Library.
If you could go back in time, which former President would you like to chat with and what’s the topic?
I am a child of the 80’s and a huge Ronald Reagan fan, but if I had the opportunity to speak to any President it would be Abraham Lincoln without a doubt. To be the President at such a divided time in our nation’s history is so incredibly remarkable… I’d have so many questions.
What is your proudest accomplishment while serving as Chair of CAGOP?
In 2020, we flipped four House seats, the most of any state in the nation. In the 2022 cycle, we kept and grew our congressional delegation, secured a House Majority, and I saw my mentor and friend Kevin McCarthy become Speaker of the House. It was great to see the hard work by our team and volunteers pay off in a really big way.
Is there a below-the-radar issue not getting the attention it deserves and what would you do about it?
There are so many issues created by the Democrat super-majority that I think it’s difficult to choose just one. I do wish the fentanyl epidemic got more attention — this is affecting not only adults, but our children are being poisoned as well. Over 110 Californians die each week and it’s absolutely devastating. China is producing this deadly drug, it’s pouring through our southern border, and brought into our communities.
Who is your favorite artist — any medium – and why?
This past year I’ve really gotten into the series Yellowstone. Taylor Sheridan is an artist who happens to write phenomenal stories told on the small screen. The character development he does, the back stories, the different viewpoints; he is immensely talented.
What was your favorite musical genre as a teenager and what are you listening to now?
Hands down 90’s rap. I’m from Los Angeles and the amount of talent that came from the West Coast rap scene during that moment in time is legendary. Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ is a cultural masterpiece and should be required listening; even the Library of Congress selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Now, I listen to a lot of country and as the mother of two girls, I am also in my Taylor Swift era.
First concert you attended and how did it make you feel?
December 1989, New Kids on the Block at the Great Western Forum. I was in 4th grade and got to tagalong with my older sister and cousin — I felt so cool.
If you were a competitive eater, which food would be your specialty?
Tacos. I could definitely win some trophies by throwing back some tacos.
Did you (or do you now) have a sports hero and what’s special about them?
Sports truly have such a special place in my heart and, growing up in Los Angeles, we’ve had so many amazing franchises and teams. Whether it’s the Dodgers, Lakers, or USC football — so many elite athletes have come from many of these teams, and I feel lucky to have seen anew nd experienced that firsthand. There is one athlete that I believe is incredibly special though not from an LA team: Bobby Bonilla of the Mets. I cannot get enough of his deferred salary arrangement, is just legendary. Every year, I celebrate “Bobby Bonilla Day” on July 1st — coincidentally on the same day when the Mets pay him $1.2 million, the California Democrats increase our gas taxes.
What is your favorite baseball moment?
I don’t think anything can compare to Kirk Gibson’s homerun in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. I was eight years old and got to watch my Dodgers win the World Series. I loved the Orel Hershiser, “I’m going to Disneyland” commercials that would follow. Little did I know, that I’d have to wait until my daughter was eight years old for them to win again.
What’s the best professional advice you’ve received and who gave it to you?
To this day my dad, Frank Millan, is the hardest working man I know. The advice he gave not just for working, but for life in general, “There is no substitute for hard work.” I live by those words every day.
Who or what exerted the most influence on your career?
I am so incredibly grateful to every mentor and boss that I have had over the years, each of whom I have great love and respect for. Truly, I would not be in the position I am today had it not been for Speaker McCarthy. His belief in me that I could do something out of my comfort zone — out of my own desires — really pushed me to go over the last five years to places I never thought I could. My children look at me in a different way, because of the work I do today and the impact it makes not only in our state but in our country. I would have likely spent my entire career in the background had he not pushed me to run for Chair of the California Republican Party.
What do you see yourself doing, professionally, in 10 years?
I have never looked that far into the future. I’ve always believed that when you focus on the now without distraction, the next, and the next after that take care of themselves.
Say one of your kids wanted to go into politics. Would you encourage or discourage that?
I would probably discourage my children from getting into politics, but ultimately foster their passions. Fortunately, right now at 9 and 11 years old, and despite having met a President, many Governors, Ambassadors, Senators, Congressional members, and a guy they call Uncle Speaker in their life, they both have other interests. Abigail wants to be a designer and flip houses with her dad when he retires. Madeline wants to be an inventor; she’s specifically interested in robotics.
Any proud moments with your kids and family you want to share?
Madeline and Abigail are the absolute proudest accomplishments of my life. Most recently Abigail won her 5th grade Halloween writing contest. Madeline was the first student in her class to read six chapter books and pass her accelerated reader test earning the coveted Teacher’s Desk for a Day.
What item would you like to buy if it went up for auction and you had the money to afford it?
All the discontinued Tory Burch wedges; they are incredibly comfortable! Now that I am in my 40’s I have moved away from high heels as much as possible. When they stopped producing the classic wedges my world stopped. I’m just shy of 5’2”, so don’t tell me just to buy the loafers and enjoy the ballet flats.