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A plethora of good local candidates

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webmaster | 05/31/14

I hope you will pay close attention to the 28-page special election section you are getting with today’s Madera Tribune. It provides information on voting and gives biographical data about the candidates.

All the candidates provide a great public service by running. They expend time, talent and treasure in order to get before the public and present their opinions about issues and their qualifications for office. It isn’t always easy. Their egos and their bank accounts take bruisings. Those who lose are often hurt, and it takes a while to get over a loss. But win or lose, they make grassroots democracy possible, and you have to be a knucklehead not to appreciate their sacrifices.

Some of the races are more interesting than usual. The District 1 supervisorial race and the contest for sheriff both have generous lineups of well-qualified candidates.

In District 1, many were surprised when incumbent Manuel Nevarez decided not to seek re-election after only two years in office. Five people wound up entering that race, and it’s likely to be a close one, with the final decision being made in the November general election.

The sheriff’s race also was left wide open when incumbent John Anderson decided to retire. Six candidates have stepped up to ask for your vote. This race also probably will be decided in November.

The district attorney’s race is unusual in that incumbent Michael Keitz has two challengers, when the last time he ran, four years ago, he was challenged by nobody. We likely will see a November finish of this race, too.

The race for auditor-controller between incumbent Marcia Hall and challenger Todd Miller is unusually testy, for a couple of certified public accountants, and also unusual in who supports whom. Miller’s candidacy is being supported by Treasurer-Tax Collector Tracy Kennedy Desmond, whose office Hall audited and whose practices Hall criticized. An outside auditing firm was called in and several changes were recommended, to all of which Kennedy Desmond agreed. Miller, of Oakhurst, has criticized Hall for auditing the treasurer-tax collector’s office, and has implied he will focus on making sure reports are filed on time instead of auditing other departments. More than likely, this race will be determined in the primary.

Also likely to be decided Tuesday is the two-candidate contest for assessor, made wide open by the retirement of incumbent Tom Kidwell, the two-candidate race for supervisorial District 5 and the two-candidate race for supervisorial District 2. Kennedy Desmond is unopposed in her race, as are incumbents Clerk-Recorder Rebecca Martinez and County Superintendent of Schools Cecelia Massetti.

All the candidates deserve our everlasting thanks for their efforts. Remember, Tuesday is election day.


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