By The Leader Staff
District 1 Candidate Martin Chavez
District 1 Candidate Martin Chavez

Martín Chavez, a Kings County native and the son of Mexican immigrants, officially announced this week that he plans to take on 27-year Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves for the Kings County Board of Supervisors District 1 seat.

Chavez, from Stratford, says the district is “in desperate need of fresh ideas and new leadership. Neves, who has served District one - which encompasses Stratford and most of Lemoore - has been District 1 supervisor since his first election in 1994.

Chavez is the son of Mexican immigrant farmworkers and is a first-generation college student who says he understands what it means to work hard and fight for a better future. “Growing up in Kings County and working farms with my parents as a kid, I was instilled with a passionate work ethic and deep appreciation for all the hard-working residents of Kings County,” he said.

“From farmers to farmworkers, the agriculture industry is the backbone of our county. They deserve our utmost support and appreciation,” he added, “and that’s why I’ve worked my entire adult life to better the industry. Additionally, I’ve worked to support programs to provide opportunities to the young kids who are fighting for a better future – just like I did when I was young. And I look forward to continuing to build a better future for all residents of Kings County as a member of the Board of Supervisors.”

Chavez attended the University of California, Merced, where he earned a degree in economics before returning to his hometown of Stratford. Back in Stratford, he continued to serve his community as a board member of the Stratford Public Utilities District, a committee member for More Water Now – a statewide imitative to bring more water and funding for infrastructure to our Valley communities – and is an avid supporter of programs such as Upward Bound, which affords residents, just like Chavez, the opportunity for a better future.

Currently, Chavez works as the Farmer Relations Director for Pacific Farm Management Inc. In his role, he helps valley farmers navigate the challenges they face every day while being a regional advocate for the industry. He works with farmers who grow various crops ranging from nuts to fresh fruits. In his current role, he is also a leader in local community efforts, such as donating backpacks to local students, pallets of water to rural communities, and brand-new warm coats to elementary kids.

“Kings County cannot afford to wait on Sacramento to address our needs. We must be proactive and initiate action that will strengthen and expand our economy. This will take new leadership, and based on the time I have spent learning and contributing to life in Kings County. I believe I can make a difference for a better and more prosperous future for all. A lack of current leadership, complacency from our current representative, and out-of-touch career politicians are letting us down. It’s time for a new vision.”