When Tony Madrigal ran for City Council in 2013 he had the endorsement of the Modesto Police Officers Association. But he does not have that support as he runs for a second term in the Nov. 7 election.
The MPOA — which represents the Police Department’s roughly 180 officers and detectives — is not endorsing Madrigal or his two challengers in council district 2, which encompasses downtown and south and west Modesto.
But it is endorsing District 5 Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer and District 4 Councilman Bill Zoslocki as they seek re-election. The MPOA endorsed them in 2013.
Detective Robert Gumm who serves on the MPOA’s political action committee, said the MPOA shares some of the same concerns outlined in a Bee editorial about Madrigal: That he is a grandstander and has raised more than $100,000 in campaign contributions since his first run for office in 2013, despite representing a district with low voter turnout. Madrigal needed 804 votes to win in 2013.
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“A lot of it is the political grandstanding,” Gumm said, “his coming to an event and making it all about him.”
Madrigal — who lists his support of public safety, including voting to hire more police officers and serving as a Neighborhood Watch coordinator, among the reasons to vote for him — did not return a phone call and text message seeking comment.
He is being challenged by Homero Mejia and Jon Rodriguez. Gumm said the MPOA does not have a lot of experience with Mejia, who is running for council for the first time. Rodriguez said he did not seek the endorsements of the city’s police and fire unions.
Madrigal does have the endorsement of the Modesto City FireFighters Association, which also endorsed him in 2013. The MCFFA represents about 135 firefighters, engineers and captains.
“We feel the city’s interests are still in his heart,” said Ruben Esparza, a fire captain and chairman of the MCFFA’s political action committee. Esparza said Madrigal is experienced, works hard, knows the issues and is willing to listen to firefighters’ concerns. Esparza said the MCFFA focuses on the city’s financial health and its impact on the city’s ability to deliver services when making its endorsements.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316