HERE IT IS ELECTION TIME IN IMPERIAL COUNTY and we can’t resist offering some comments and endorsements for the candidates, as we usually do. The pickin’s haven’t been slim but they haven’t been real exciting either.
There are a lot of old faces trying for office once again and only a handful of new ones. Does anybody know much about any of these good folks? Probably not.
Press releases have been scarce this year. As have been ads in newspapers. According to the candidates we talked to, the funds haven’t been coming in the way they have in the past from those who can afford to contribute to campaign chests. Apparently, they have some reduced production to deal with themselves.
But we will take a stab at seeing who’s who. Remember, it’s just for fun.
Carlos Zaragosa is challenging Roy Buckner as county tax assessor. Buckner has been in office for a long time and has normally run unopposed. Zaragosa thinks its time for some leadership change at the top in this important tax office.
We like to encourage new people, so we’re going to pick Zaragosa.
Mr. Buckner has served the county for many years, he would make a good choice too.
But we want to encourage some younger participation in the election process.
Chuck Storey is campaigning actively for the County Clerk/Recorder’s job. that’s the one that monitors elections and gives the result.
It’s also the one that gets the most flak form the loser in the campaigns because the ballots haven’t been counted properly. After that, most folks forget about the job.
Storey thinks he can do a better job than his opponents and vows to modernize the election department. That would be a good idea.
Elections in Imperial County are antiquated in comparison to other cities in California and the rest of the nation. Computers have taken over and even online voting is occurring. There’s even a move to early voting and quick tabulations of results.
Imperial County needs lots of help here. Perhaps if they modernized the equipment, election day wouldn’t look like it came from
the pages of a museum collection.
Somebody from the outside would be a breath of fresh air. We haven’t heard a word from the other candidates either.
For County Supervisor we have the Calexico District – District One. And it’s a race between four current and former city council members in Calexico.
Louis Fuentes was appointed a year ago to fill the term of Victor Carrillo who took over as City Manager in the Border City.
Fuentes did some maneuvering with the Republican Governor to get the job. He has lots of political ambition. Whether its for the benefit of Calexico or himself remains to be seen.
Luis Castro has the ability to generate a lot of support, especially from the Hispanic community. He’s opposed to big pay increases in Calexico, and bills himself as a friend of the working man and woman.
John Renison served three terms on the City Council and has plenty of experience dealing with Calexico’s continued development. He would bring an eloquent voice to the Supervisor’s board that favors forward progress.
Carmen Durazo served a four year term on the city council with an emphasis on the arts. She worked to get an “Art Tax” established on housing in the city. If you like beautification, she’s the one.
We still like Renison. We think he deserves a shot at the higher office. He’s been around politics and education for a long time and has the experience to deal with the problems facing the county today.
County Supervisor District 5 – This one has three old pros running against each other in an election that could be decided on the territory they have represented.
Wally Leimgruber is going for his fourth term on the board. He’s proven to be a conservative with religious right leanings. He represents a district that has two casinos located in it on the border with Arizona. But he opposes the expansion of gambling in Imperial County.
Ray Castillo is the former mayor of El Centro who is taking a second shot at the Supervisor’s position. He lost to Leimgruber by less than 100 votes the last time. He has a home in Holtville, but his political strength is still in El Centro. He sees jobs as the main issue in the county at this time.
Steve Vasquez served on the Brawley City Council for 16 years before deciding to step down and seek the Supervisor’s position. His entry into the election could split the vote and force a runoff in the Fall.
I have to lean toward Wally, although I have spoken out in favor of term limits in the past. The east side of the Valley and Holtville needs representation on the Supervisor’s Board. When a candidate comes along that has given this area the support he has, maybe we’ll recommend him.
The IID Board has three, count’em three, elections that are contested this time.
In Division One David Ouzan, the current Mayor of Calexico, is running against Matt Dessert and Rudy Maldonado.
We like Ouzan. He brings a flamboyant style to local politics that you don’t find in other candidates. He also looks for solutions that are outside the norm. He will make IID Boar d meetings interesting, if nothing else.
Matt Dessert is another IID employee who wants to get on the board. Rudy Maldonado served two terms, but quit for health reasons. He returns. We think he has had his day and its time for some new thinking on the Board.
In Division Three incumbent Jim Hanks is running against Ruben Casarez, whom he calls “a disgruntled IID employee.”
Hanks has done a pretty good job on the IID Board. He is old school when it come sot water and electrical politics. old school is what people seem to like around here.
We would have to go with Hanks since we don’t know enough about his opponent and he has made little effort to share his opinions with us.
In Division 5 Anthony Sanchez is running for a second term against Norma Galindo. Sanchez was elected in a surprise to everyone four years ago except him.
Norma Galindo has run for several different offices and has been mostly concerned with education.
In the past, she was more of a liberal, anti-establishment candidate. We’re not sure why she is seeking this position. She hasn’t told us. You will have to figure it out yourselves.
And , of course, there is the Juan Vargas running against Mary Salas for the State Senate.
I don’t like Vargas. His campaign tactics are reprehensible and tactless. All he does is attack his opponent and then tell us what a great guy he is
The question is “what are you going to do for us?’ And that’s one that he never answers. He says he is going to clean up Sacramento. I’m more concerned about Imperial County.
Salas at least tells you what she has worked on in the Assembly. We want people who move ahead in a positive manner, not mud slingers who make up things to call issues.
Vote for Salas and get some representation.
Don’t forget to vote on the propositions. My word on that is to vote in favor of those that don’t cost you anything and against those that do cost you.
The election is June 8, 2010. Peace and freedom to all.
OVER IN CALEXICO YOU HAVE FIVE candidates vying for two positions. We like Maritza Hurtado, because she has had a long history of community inolvement. She would also add a woman’s opinion to an all-male board.
Guillermo Hermosillo was appointed to fill the vacant position created when Louis Fuentes moved to the Board of Supervisors. Hermosillo wants to get elected to this position.
Don Chairez would add some new blood to this body and give somebody who hasn’t been involved in the political process a chance to show what he can do. Some fresh faces are always welcom.
Bill Hodge has been a community advocate and chairman of the Calexico Arts Commission. He helped get the Calexico Arts Center established, but also helped establish an art tax in the city for housing.
Ulysses Cardenas is making a first attempt at the City Council.
With all these folks to vote for, we hope there is a good turnout at the polls. There are enough candidates to choose from that eveyrone should have somebody who appeals to them. Name recognition is still the most significant factor in the election. We’ll find out who has the most friends.