Political Fix (4 July, 2024)

If the Supreme Court ruling on presidential immunity handed down July 1 had instead been made before President Richard Nixon’s second term – he would not have stepped down.

Watergate would not be part of our political landscape, and the American people would be none the wiser about what he did.

The United States President is now effectively immune from criminal prosecution for crimes committed while acting in their official capacity, which can be argued as 99% of what a president does.

In light of the changes in American democracy, voters should concentrate on their  locally elected officials, who thankfully do not have immunity from committing crimes while in office.

We may not be able to control our President, but we still have a say on who our local elected officials are, when they have to leave office, and throw them in jail if they break the law.

Let’s be thankful for that.

And on this day of our nation’s independence I encourage everyone to vote this November.


Kings and Tulare County Board of Supervisor Races

The Tulare County Board of Supervisor races concluded with the March Primary, but one supervisorial race in Kings County has lead to a run-off in the November General Election.

In the March Primary, Kings County District 5 Board of Supervisor candidate Adam Medeiros received the most votes. But he didn’t earn 50% to avoid a runoff against Kings County Undersheriff Robert Thayer, who was the runner up.

Only 88 votes separated the two after the primary.

The incumbent, Supervisor Richard Fagundes, came in last out of four candidates.

Larry Micari, the incumbent for the Tulare County Board of Supervisors’ District 1 seat, beat candidate Joe Soria by more than 50%.  Pete Vander Poel, the incumbent representing District 2, also won by a large margin over challenger Benny Corona, so both races have been decided.

Kudos needs to be given to Micari for participating in the League of Women Voters’ forums even though he was heavily favored to win. Micari participated not to get an edge in the election but because he believes in the democratic process.

Vander Poel refused to participate in any candidate forums with his opponent in the 2024 election.

District 4 incumbent Supervisor Eddie Valero also did not participate in the League of Women Voter November 3, 2022 forum against his opponent because he was “knocking on doors.”


What City Council seats are up for election?

Every city council in Tulare and Kings Counties has at least one seat up for election. The districts are staggered so not every voter will be selecting a city council member this round.

In Kings County, Hanford City Council District B — represented by Martin Devine — is up for election. Devine was recently appointed by the council when former Council member Kalish Morrow resigned.

Councilmember Diane Sharp from District C announced her resignation effective April 2. The Council moved to leave Sharp’s seat vacant until the General Election so voters have the opportunity to elect their candidate.

Visalia has two seats up for grabs: Vice Mayor Brett Taylor’s seat in District 2, and Liz Wynn’s District 1 seat. Both have expressed interest in defending their positions.

Tulare has three seats up for reelection: District 1 represented by Jose Sigala, District 3 represented by Steve Harrell, and District 5 represented by Patrick Isherwood.

Districts A, B and E are up for reelection in Exeter; those seats are currently held by Council members  Justin Mills, Barbara Sally and Jacob Johnson respectively. As of publication time, it is unknown if the three council members intend on running.

Lindsay still conducts at-large elections and two out of their five seats are up for reelection.

Mayor Ramona Caudillo recently resigned, adding one more seat to the ballot. The Lindsay City Council has been experiencing months of turmoil since before council members voted to remove Hipolito Cerros from his post as mayor.

In Porterville, three seats are up for reelection in November: District 3 represented by Mayor Martha Flores, District 4 represented by Council member Donald Weybrauch and District 5 represented by Vice Mayor Kellie Carrillo.

Weybrauch has only served two years on the council having been appointed in 2022 to replace Council Member A. Monte Reyes who resigned.

Farmersville holds at-large elections and two out of the five council seats are up for reelection: Council members Danny Valdovinos and Greg Gomez.

Woodlake also holds at-large elections and two of their five city council seats are up for election, Mayor Rudy Mendoza and Council member Jose Martinez.

The candidate nomination period is July 15 to August 9. During this time interested citizens can file their paperwork to run for office. The Tulare County Registrar’s office is requesting that potential candidates make an appointment to file.

If the incumbent decides not to run the nomination period is extended to August 14.

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