Editor’s note: This article has been updated to confirm Hipolito Cerros participation.
Find out who will best represent your values in Sacramento at the League of Women Voters Candidates’ Forum January 12 at Tulare County Office of Education, 6200 S. Mooney Blvd. Visalia.
Doors open at 6:00 PM. Forum is from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
The LWV is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political candidate. The League’s purpose is to inform voters of choices they have through forums that reflect a variety of perspectives and interests.
California State Assembly District 33 (AD33) includes all of Kings County and parts of Tulare County, including north Visalia, and the cities of Dinuba, Tulare, Porterville, Lindsay and a slice of Fresno County by Reedley.
The AD33 race took an unlikely turn when Assemblymember Devon Mathis decided to retire two years early of his term limit leaving an open seat on the ballot.
Now the public has the opportunity to meet the five new faces vying for your vote.
Meet the Candidates
Listed below are the five candidates for AD33 in the order in which they filed with the Tulare County Registrar of Voters. The information originated from their official press releases.
Ruben Macareno, D-Farmersville, “a one-time migrant farmworker had a long-time career with a national media company presently serves as a Board of Education Trustee, is an immediate past City Councilmember, former Democratic Party Chairman and chamber of commerce executive director in the west valley.”
Angel Ruiz, D-Tulare, “emphasizes addressing healthcare accessibility, educational advancement, and amplifying community voices. His commitment to these issues is deeply rooted in his experiences as a first-generation immigrant, providing him with a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in AD33.”
Alexandra Macedo R-Tulare, “is a fourth-generation farmer with a lifelong passion for agriculture. Alexandra’s family founded the livestock market Tulare Sales Yard in 1939. Today, they continue to operate the local business and harvest almonds on their family farm.”
Xavier Avila, R – Tulare, is a fourth-generation dairy farmer in the Central Valley. Avila currently sits on the Tulare Local Healthcare District and The Tulare Public Cemetery District boards.
Hipolito Cerros, D – current mayor of Lindsay, is stressing in his campaign: agri-technology in which he said farming practices and produce can be improved along with conditions for farmers and farmworkers, water infrastructure and strengthening the workforce, including addressing shortages in such sectors as health care in the Valley and the state.
The forum will be moderated by Former Visalia Times-Delta Opinion Editor Paul Hurley and each candidate will have 1.5 minutes to introduce themselves. Candidates will then be asked prepared questions from the Forum Planning Committee, followed by screened questions from the audience.
Questions prepared by the LWV and screened questions from the audience will be posed to candidates in alternating fashion.
The League’s questions reflect no political viewpoint. As this is a forum and not a debate, participants are not allowed to refer to a rival candidate when answering the questions.
Ballots for the 2024 primary will be mailed February 5, 2024 and Election Day is March 5, 2024 from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. The two candidates that get the most votes will go on to the General Election in November.
“Hearing and seeing candidates engage in healthy debates before an election is an important part of our democracy. Candidate debates and forums help us determine which candidates align with our values and which ones we want to support with our votes. Due to our deep roots and long history of nonpartisanship, communities across the country have put their trust in the League to host these events.” League of Women Voters California
This forum is presented by the Tulare County League of Women Voters in collaboration with the Tulare County League of Mexican American Women, the Association of American University Women, The Valley Voice and the Visalia Times Delta.
The forum will be streaming live on the Visalia Times Delta Facebook/website and on the Valley Voice Facebook.