Ken Carlson

Patterson mayor considers running for Board of Supervisors seat

Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini during a meeting in 2010.
Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini during a meeting in 2010. Modesto Bee file

So far, questions about the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors election in June have centered on Patterson Mayor Luis Molina.

Will he run? Or will he sit out the June election and seek another term as Patterson’s mayor in November?

Molina said Thursday he is considering a bid for the District 5 seat held by Jim DeMartini, but has yet to make a decision. The supervisorial district takes in Ceres and the western part of the county including Patterson and Newman.

“There is an interest,” Molina said. “It is not about running against the current supervisor, but asking people to allow me to serve in that capacity.”

Molina said his heart is divided between running for supervisor and seeking another term as mayor.

One consideration for Molina would be quitting his job as an early-intervention coordinator for county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services if he were elected as a supervisor.

Molina was a political newcomer when elected to the county Board of Education in 2005. That year was heralded as a milestone for Latinos: Teresa Guerrero captured a seat on the Ceres School Board in the same election and the late Guillermo Ochoa was appointed to the Ceres City Council.

Molina garnered almost 60 percent of the vote in defeating a white opponent for the Trustee Area 5 seat.

He was first elected mayor of Patterson in 2010.

Molina, who served on the Board of Education through 2013, said he has worked with county supervisors on the Stanislaus Council of Governments.

“I think we have proven ourselves over the years,” Molina said. “We have proven our leadership and commitment to the community.”

DeMartini said he has been girding for a re-election campaign. The incumbent delivered a campaign disclosure Thursday to the county registrar of voters office, showing he has spent $11,300 and has $92,000 in his campaign account.

DeMartini said he has hired a consultant, approved the design for political signs and plans to start walking precincts the first week in February.

“I don’t have any real issues with (Molina),” DeMartini said. “I have done a good job and will run on my record. The county is on a good financial footing, especially compared with other counties. The county has very little debt and we are adding more sheriff deputies. I would say things are good.”

No other potential challengers have pulled papers to signal an interest in the June supervisorial contests.

The other incumbents, Bill O’Brien in District 1 and Vito Chiesa in District 2, were not opposed in 2012 and would have free tickets to another four years if no one steps forward. The official nomination period runs from Feb. 15 to March 11.

DeMartini was elected to a third term when he defeated Daniel Padilla of Ceres in 2012.

The June election is a primary, meaning a runoff is held in November unless a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321

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