Lemoore's Eddie Neal pulls papers to run against Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves

By Ed Martin, Editor
Kings County District Supervisor Joe Neves
Kings County District Supervisor Joe Neves

Two-term Lemoore City Councilman Edward Neal pulled papers today (Jan. 25) at the Kings County Elections Department and will challenge long-time District One Supervisor Joe Neves, the Lemoore and Stratford-area representative since 1994.

The last time Neves had an opponent was in 1994 when he defeated then-incumbent Jim Edwards in a head-to-head matchup.

Lemoore Councilmember Eddie Neal
Lemoore Councilmember Eddie Neal

Neal is in the second year of his second four-year term. In 2016 the popular incumbent easily won re-election, garnering 3,165 votes, clearly outdistancing six other candidates. He currently serves as the Lemoore City Council’s mayor pro tem.

Neal, 49, is a Lemoore High School alum and a standout football player and wrestler for the Tigers. He later won a state wrestling championship while enrolled at Fresno City College. Neal’s spouse, Myeisha, is a first-term Lemoore Union Elementary School District board member. He believes he can bring a new perspective to the board of supervisors.

“I've been thinking about this the last four years," he said about announcing his candidacy. "As a member of the League of California cities," councilmembers deal with many of the same issues as cities, said Neal.

Both District One candidates have pulled papers to run for the supervisor’s seat. Neves pulled his papers on Jan. 2. Both candidates, as do all candidates running in the June 5 Primary have until March 9 to finalize all paperwork needed to declare his or her candidacy.

This election will be Neves’ seventh if elected in June. He currently represents Stratford and Lemoore – the boundary ending at Hanford-Armona Road.

Neves, a colorful and popular figure, is a familiar site at local sporting events, often as an announcer. His political philosophy is simple: “I have a lot of confidence in local control,” said the six-term supervisor. “I think local control and local administration of local policies is more important” than getting involved in state and national politics, he said.

He is a Lemoore High School graduate and earned degrees at West Hills College, University of Phoenix and an MA from Brandman University. He’s lived in Kings County all his life and formerly worked for the Stratford Public Utilities District.

Neves’ wife Kathy served several terms on the Lemoore High School District Board of Trustees, stepping down just last year.

The top issue? “I think it’s going to be water,” he warned. “I think that between surface water and groundwater, I think Kings County is probably going to have some issues.”

The two other supervisors up for re-election have drawn opponents as well. District Three Supervisor Doug Verboon may likely face a challenge from Robert Garcia, while District Four’s Craig Pedersen will face newcomer Ricky Simpson in June.

In somewhat of a surprise, former Kings County District Attorney Greg Strickland is attempting to get his old job back, indicating that he will run against Keith Fagundes. Strickland has already turned in the requisite signatures to get his name on the ballot.

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