By Reggie Ellis
By now everyone knows the frontrunners in the race for District 1 Supervisor.
Frank "Bud" Pinkham's blue and orange signs can be seen throughout eastern Tulare County. Marlene Sario has had numerous campaign engagements in nearly every city, community and even neighborhoods throughout District 1. And Allen Ishida has made his presence felt at county planning meetings.
But that's only half of the candidates running to replace Bill Sanders. The Exeter Sun recently caught up with the three "other" candidates who either entered the race just prior to the Dec. 5 filing deadline, or who have yet to begin their campaigns. The three candidates are Rueben Macareno of Farmersville, Gary Potter of Three Rivers and Harroll Wiley of Visalia.
All six candidates will try to fill the shoes of Sanders, a 12-year veteran of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. During his tenure, Sanders has been a strong advocate for Valley agriculture through his involvement with the Tulare County Farm Bureau and Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual. He remains deeply committed to community service and locally is a member of the Exeter Chamber of Commerce despite living in Lindsay. He has also worked tirelessly with state officials protecting key funding sources and worked closely with the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation to promote job creation and growth.
Sanders announced he would not seek re-election at the March 11 meeting. Sanders did not give a specific reason for retiring only saying that it was time to retire given that he would be 64 years old at the end of his current term in November 2004. Prior to serving on the board, Sanders was formerly a real estate broker, mortician and citrus farmer in Lindsay, where he and his wife Peggy still make their home.
Whichever candidate is elected will play a major role in what kind of future the county will have.
District 1 could be considered the No. 1 area of concern for the county's future. It is home to what may some day be the state's largest dairy. It encompasses all or part of three cities that all play a crucial role in promoting Tulare County to outside investors, tourists and historical and cultural areas of interest in Visalia, Exeter and Lindsay. While some may argue it is not the most important, it is definitely a key area of the county.
For a closer look at District 1 Supervisor candidates Rueben Macareno, Gary Potter and Harroll Wiley pick up a copy of The Exeter Sun newspaper.