The Least-Known Amazing Legislator


Jesse Dorsey is a name that California political historians should know.

Dorsey worked as a Deputy District Attorney for two years before he was elected District Attorney for Kern County in 1900. Two years later, Dorsey ran for (and won) a seat in the Assembly. He served as District Attorney again from 1917 to 1922 and eventually returned to Sacramento as a State Senator in 1943.
As a Senator, Dorsey authored SB 987 (1951), which established the California Public Utilities Code. He would eventually die in office in 1958.

His 20-year tenure in the Legislature spanned 56 years, overlapping with those of 487 other legislators, from Frederick Lux (first elected in 1862) to Ralph Dills (who left office in 1998).

To put it in perspective, Dorsey was first sworn into office about a year before the Wright Brothers first flight and died in office about a year after Sputnik 1 was launched.

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