Biola professor runs for senator

Sociology professor Phlunte’ Riddle seeks a Pasadena-based state Senate seat for 2016.


John Patrick Uy


Zurich Lewis, Writer

Phlunte’ Riddle, a Biola professor, has just declared her candidacy for California State Senator. Riddle is running as one of 40 senators in the state’s upper chamber of the legislature.

Riddle’s Unique Perspective

Phlunte’ Riddle, an adjunct sociology professor teaching classes such as “Unequal Justice: Race, Class, Gender, and Crime,” resides with her husband and three children in Pasadena where she served for 29 years as a sergeant, then lieutenant, in the Pasadena Police department.

Riddle believes she is qualified to represent over 900,000 California residents in the state Senate.

“If leadership was easy, everyone would do it,” Riddle said. “I have the energy, the dedication and the discipline necessary to be a leader in the capitol.”

She continued to talk about her Christ-centered ethics and how, with these principles, leaders can make positive change with others while not giving up core values.

Her Student’s Reactions

Her students are excited to hear her run for this office that will influence her community in a positive way just as she has done at Biola.

“She’s a really great professor, really great person, she’s been really influential into all of our classmates and me, so I think she’s going to do a really great job as state senator,” said Daniel Coulter, junior sociology major.

SGA President-elect Taylor Stribbling, junior sociology major, believes that Riddle is the most qualified individual to think critically about the current issues.

“I believe that she has been called by the Lord to do this and that she believes wholeheartedly in the favor that she finds in him and that will carry her a long way,” Stribbling said.

Riddle’s Many Hats

As a sergeant, she was the first African American woman tasked as a gang and street narcotics officer. As a lieutenant, she served as the Public Information Officer & Adjutant to the Chief of Police. Riddle served her community in various capacities, including assuming the position of Interim Executive Director of the Pasadena Chapter of the Young Women’s Christian Association.

After retiring from the police force in 2013, she owns and runs Phlunte’ Riddle Leadership Consulting, a company designed to empower leaders with emotional intelligence in order to solve organizational problems. Additionally, she uses these skills and experiences as a professor at Biola as well as Goldenwest College.

Now as a respected community member, she is running to represent the 25th Senate District which includes the cities of Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Claremont, San Dimas, part of Los Angeles proper and other communities. The end of the term of incumbent Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge has opened up the legislative seat for a new representative.

A Strong Chance

As a Democrat, she has a strong chance to win a seat that gave President Barack Obama 60 percent of the vote in 2012 and Gov. Jerry Brown 60 percent in 2014. So far, she is the only declared candidate for the Foothill communities seat. The primary election is on June 7, 2016 from which the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the Nov. 1, 2016 general election. The top of the ballot will also include the candidates for President of the United States.

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