On January 24, the Tulare County Democratic Party cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open its new administrative headquarters in downtown Visalia’s Montgomery Square. State Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-26) was on hand to offer his congratulations, presenting a letter to Chairman Ruben Macareno.
“He did say he would reach across the aisle during his campaign, “ Macareno said. “And this is one symbolic action of staying true to his word. I’d like to think that it was Tulare County Democrats that put him over the establishment candidate.”
Last November, Mathis was elected to the State Assembly over then-favorite Republican Rudy Mendoza in part by promising to “put people over politics.”
“I believe in small government,” Mathis said during last year’s campaign, “that a Government is by the people for the people. That we need to give the power back to our local levels, back to our cities and counties, they know what needs to be done and they need to power to do so. We do not need a big government that gets in the way of our daily lives and interferes with our businesses.”
Before running for the Assembly, Mendoza, the current mayor of Woodlake, had worked as Congressman Devin Nunes’ field representative–the go -between the congressman and his constituents in the southern part of Tulare County–since 2010.
Since his election, Mathis has been assigned to the following committees: Aging and Long-Term Care; Agriculture; Water, Parks and Wildlife. He also sits as Vice-chair on the Veterans Affairs Committee.
Mathis presented his congratulatory letter to Macareno and the committee at 6pm, before the scheduled ribbon cutting. Earlier, Mathis had communicated his intention to attend the ceremony.
While hopeful that Mathis would indeed attend, Macareno did admit to some doubt. “At the last minute I thought he might send a rep. instead,” he said, pleasantly surprised.
Macareno and California Democratic Party Regional Director Diana Love addressed the guests, who were provided time to speak as well.
“When I read about tonight’s Democratic opening, I felt invited to be here and around good people,” said Buddy Jones, of Visalia. “I am happy to be here.”
“It was nice to see new faces such as Jones and others, as well as familiar ones. It’s what we are shooting for,” said Macareno.
“Although we had many Democrats, Republicans were represented,” he continued, “I did say open to the public.”