Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, bellowed and pounded the ground. Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, brought her son for good luck. And Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, gave his entrant not one but two kisses.
Lawmakers provided fierce competition Wednesday at the 41st annual Capitol Frog Jump.
The event, organized by the office of state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, promotes the famed Jumping Frog Jubilee at this month’s Calaveras County Fair.
But all of them fell short of Doria Wallentine, a legislative aide to Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, who consulted the Internet for expert advice and scared her frog into hopping a winning distance of more than 10 feet in three bounds.
“You kind of hover over them so they feel like they’re getting attacked and they jump really far,” Wallentine said.
Cooper, competing in his first jump, was disappointed not to take home the shiny green trophy, but he remained optimistic that his amphibious smooch would bode him well for the rest of legislative session.
“Wishful thinking,” he said. “I figured I’d kiss that frog and it might turn into a good bill.”
Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.