Local Politics

Saturday, Nov 03 2012 12:00 PM

Election 2012: An at-a-glance look at this year's candidates

By The Bakersfield Californian

Getting a cheat sheet ready to take to the polls? Here's an at-a-glance look at the candidates running in the most competitive local races:


Related Info


For more information about these candidates and others who will appear on your ballot, go to bakersfield.com/politics.


Here's what you need to know before heading out to the polls Tuesday:

When can I vote?

Polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday. In addition, the Kern County Elections Division offices at the County Administrative Building, 1115 Truxtun Ave., will be open until 8 p.m. Monday for voting. And there will be a vote-by-mail ballot curbside ballot drop-off site on Election Day from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on N Street next to the administrative building.

Where do I go?

Your polling site is listed on the back of the sample ballot mailed to you. You also can find yours online at Elections.co.kern.ca.us using the "Your polling place" link or by calling Kern County elections at 868-3590 or 800-452-8683.

What should I bring?

You don't need an ID unless it's the first time you're voting in a federal election and you registered by mail. Nor do you need a pen or pencil. Make a "cheat sheet" with your choices pre-marked for reference.

When's the best time to go to the polls?

Officials recommend mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid long lines that usually form before and after work times, and at lunchtime.

What's on the ballot?

What isn't, is more like it. All of us are picking a president, a U.S. senator, a congressman and a member of the state Assembly, plus deciding a slew of state ballot propositions. If you live in northwest and northeast Kern County, you're probably also choosing a 1st District county supervisor. There are three Bakersfield City Council seats up for grabs, though only one race is competitive. Several school boards races and school bond measures are also on the ballot.

What if I still have questions?

There's a treasure trove of information on The Californian's election web page, bakersfieldcalifornian.com/politics.

There you'll find:

* Stories profiling the candidates for major local offices such as county supervisor, state Assembly and Congress.

* Links to the Kern County and state elections websites for voter information and election-night results.

* A link to the county's polling place locator.

And again, the Kern County elections office can be reached at 868-3590 or 800-452-8683.


Age: 57

Occupation: Member, California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

Political offices held: State senator, 2002-2010; state assemblyman, 1996-2002; 1st District Supervisor, 1984-1996

Key endorsements: Former Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Bakersfield; outgoing 1st District Supervisor Jon McQuiston; Bakersfield City Councilman and Kern County Supervisor-elect David Couch; five of the six other 1st District primary candidates; Bakersfield Police Officers Association; Kern Law Enforcement Association; Kern County Detention Officers Association; Kern County Probation Officers Association; The Californian

Website: voteashburn.com


Age: 57

Occupation: Part-time consultant to General Dynamics, former commanding officer, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake

Political offices held: None

Key endorsements: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, state Sen. Jean Fuller and Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, all R-Bakersfield; former 1st District candidate Dave Freeland; Kern County Republican Party; Kern County Young Republicans; Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee; Associated Builders and Contractors; George Runner, member of state Board of Equalization and former Republican state senator

Website: www.mickgleason.org



Age: 39

Party: Republican

Occupation: Business owner, Rios Portable Toilets, Rios Bee Services

Political offices held: Delano City Council member, 2000 to 2008; mayor (which is rotated), 2006 to 2007

Key endorsements: Rep. Kevin McCarthy and state Sen. Jean Fuller, both R-Bakersfield; Republican Assembly Leader Connie Conway; Assemblyman David Valadao, R-Hanford; Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield; former Assemblyman Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford; Kern County Supervisor Karen Goh; Kings County Farm Bureau

Website: www.pedrorios.org


Age: 35

Occupation: Works for family's construction company

Party: Democratic

Political offices held: Bakersfield City Council member since 2010

Key endorsements: State Sen. Michael Rubio and former state Sen. Dean Florez, both D-Shafter; mayors of Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Wasco; United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta; The Californian; Black Republicans in the County of Kern; Kern County Democratic Party; California Correctional Peace Officers Association

Website: www.rudysalas.com/assembly



Age: 43

Occupation: CEO, Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Party: Democratic

Political offices held: None

Key endorsements: California Democratic Party; Congress members Jim Costa, D-Fresno, Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; state Sen. Michael Rubio; Fowler Mayor David Cardenas; Mendota Mayor Robert Silva; Sanger City Councilman Victor Ruiz; Madera County Supervisor Max Rodriguez; Service Employees International Union; United Steelworkers; International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Website: www.johnhernandez2012.com


Age: 35

Occupation: State assemblyman, dairy owner

Party: Republican

Political experience: State assemblyman since 2010

Website: www.valadaoforcongress.com

Key endorsements: Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield; former Assemblyman Danny Gilmore, R-Hanford; former Kern County Supervisor Pete Parra; Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood; McFarland Mayor Manuel Cantu Jr.; Delano Councilwoman Liz Morris; Wasco Councilman Fred West; The Californian; Fresno Bee; California Farm Bureau; Kern County Prosecutors Association; Kern County Law Enforcement Association




Age: 28

Occupation: Works for property management and investment company Carosella Properties Inc.

Political offices held: Current Bakersfield Planning Commission member

Website: kirschenmannforcouncil.org

Key endorsements: Former Bakersfield Mayor and former Kern County Supervisor Mary K. Shell; former Kern County Sheriff Carl Sparks; Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall; Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard; Bakersfield City Council members Sue Benham, Russell Johnson and David Couch; Grimmway Farms; businessman George Martin; Bakersfield Association of REALTORS.


Age: 58

Occupation: Restaurant owner

Political offices held: None

Key endorsements: Kern County Young Republicans; local philanthropist Diane S. Lake of the Lake family that began Rain for Rent and Western Oilfields Supply; Les Clark, executive officer of Independent Oil Producers Agency; Ray Dezember, former president of American National Bank and a philanthropist; Lloyd E. Plank, founder of the Lloyd Plank Foundation charity; radio station owner Ed Hopple.

Website: www.facebook.com/maxwell4ward2


Age: 52

Occupation: Teaches the disabled to use assistive technology

Political offices held: None

Key endorsements: "I am doing this on my own," he says, only being helped by friend Kyle Carter and his wife and his committee members.

Website: www.facebook.com/david.mensch


A number of far less competitive contests will be decided Tuesday.

* 23rd Congressional District: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is being challenged by journalist Terry Phillips, who is running as a no party preference candidate. McCarthy is expected to win a fourth term.

* 34th Assembly District: Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, faces Democrat Mari Goodman of Tehachapi, a union representative. Grove is expected to win a second term.

* Bakersfield City Council Ward 4: Three people are on the ballot but only one -- Bob Smith -- has been actively campaigning. Smith is the founder of the organization Bike Bakersfield and owns a civil engineering firm.

Local attorney Harley Pinson dropped his bid; Daniel Mbagwu has made minimal visible campaign efforts.

-- Compiled by Government Editor Christine Bedell

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