With two seats up for grabs in June and both incumbents seeking re-election, the Merced County Board of Supervisors election could prove to be an interesting one.
Voters will elect representatives for District 3, held by Supervisor Linn Davis, and District 5, which is represented by Supervisor Jerry O’Banion.
O’Banion, 67, confirmed to the Merced Sun-Star this week that he will seek re-election after 23 years on the board. The Dos Palos farmer was first elected in 1991.
Despite a few health problems last year, including appendicitis and a high heart rate requiring a pacemaker, O’Banion said he’s ready to keep serving the West Side of the county.
“I’ve enjoyed the years I’ve been a supervisor and look forward to serving the district and county for four more years,” he said, adding that he received approval to run for office from his heart doctor.
No other candidates have pulled papers to run against O’Banion, according to the county’s election office. The primary election will be held June 3 and a run-off will be held in November if one candidate doesn’t have more than 50 percent of the vote, county officials said.
Davis, 70, who has spent three years on the board, is being challenged by three others: dairy manager William Snyder III, 49; retired police chief and Merced City Councilman Tony Dossetti, 64; and Congressman Jeff Denham’s district representative Daron McDaniel, 49.
Davis pulled papers earlier this week, after discussing the decision to run for re-election with his family. He said he’s lived up to his campaign promises and can continue to move Merced County forward.
“I’m really interested to hear what the others would like to do differently or better,” Davis said. “I looked at who was running and didn’t see anyone running that I could support. So I took a hard look at it and decided that I would run again.”
Snyder, who sits on the Merced Union High School District board, said some community organizations have supported him because they have “strong concerns” about the direction the county is headed, particularly the areas in which they live. “They don’t see a plan for their area,” he said. “Once their children grow up, there is no reason to stay in the community because there are no jobs.”
Dossetti, who was raised in the Atwater area, said he feels he has a lot to offer constituents in District 3 – especially after serving on the Merced City Council. “After being on the council, I just felt that I still have more to offer and that the position on the county Board of Supervisors would be the best fit for me,” he said.
McDaniel said his experience working in government, the nonprofit sector and as a small businessman make him a strong candidate for the job. “I’ve been doing a lot of good things in other places, and I live here in Merced County, so I wanted to do good things here,” he said.
District 3 covers the areas of Atwater, North Merced, Franklin-Beachwood and McSwain. District 5 encompasses the cities of Dos Palos, Los Banos, Santa Nella, South Dos Palos and Volta.
The last day to file the forms for circulating petitions to secure signatures to alleviate all or part of the filing fee is Feb. 20, according to county officials. The candidate filing period runs from Feb. 10 to March 7.
Sun-Star staff writer Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.