Like our reputations, our names inevitably precede us - something Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, knows well from seeking an Assembly seat years after he ran the campaign that got his father Gene Mullin elected to the Legislature, back in 2001.
"People sort of assume that one of the main reasons I got elected is I have the same last name as a previous Assembly member," Mullin said. But in his recounting, that muddles the chronology.
When Gene ran for City Council in 1995 and sought an endorsement from then-Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, son Kevin was already working in Speier's district office. Before he became a Speier staffer, Kevin had cut his teeth as a field rep for Johan Klehs.
"I kid my dad that I was involved in politics before he was," the younger Mullin said, though he noted that Gene had served on the South San Francisco Planning Commission and brought home a fixation on politics born of decades as a high school civics teacher.
Family legacy aside, Mullins aren't confined to the world of politics. A self-described basketball "junkie," Mullin notes that NBA hall of famer Chris Mullin is his second cousin.
Still, he was able to shed the family label with the DJ pseudonym he used for years, while playing high school parties and live radio broadcasts at the University of San Francisco: Cutmaster Kevvy Kev.
"My goal," Mullin said of his emcee days, "is to make a comeback and have an event up here with my colleagues."
The 2013-2014 Legislature features the largest freshman class in decades. In this recurring series, Insider Edition helps get you acquainted with the influx of newcomers.