Local candidates ramp up for upcoming city council election filing period July 14

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Local candidates ramp up for upcoming city council election filing period July 14

Just when you think one election is over, candidates begin ramping up for another. Lemoore area voters will be making some choices for city council in November. The filing period opens for local seats on July 14 when would-be candidates can begin pulling filing papers to run for a pair of open seats.

One of those seats is already vacant due to the resignation of first-term councilman John Gordon, who cited health and personal reasons for his surprise resignation last week.

Gordon literally shocked the local political landscape when he announced he was stepping down before finishing his term. His resignation took effect immediately. Gordon’s untimely departure seems to have thrown a monkey wrench into Mayor Billy Siegel’s control of the council. While voting tallies didn’t always end up as a 3-2 vote, it was relatively clear to most observers of our local political structure that Gordon - and the almost invisible Lois Wynne - were allies on just about every controversial decision.

The other seat up for election this year belongs to two-term councilman Willard Rodarmel, and he hasn’t given any indication whether if he will run again or not.

It has indeed been a tumultuous year at the local government level as councilmembers, led by Lemoore’s controversial mayor, provoked the wrath of many observers of local government. Siegel, taking advantage of a 3-2 split in the council, managed to shutter the Lemoore Planning Department and then spend almost a year threatening to sell off Lemoore’s 70-year-old golf course.

The actions of the city council seem to have led several Lemoore citizens into thinking about joining the political fray and maybe throwing their hats into the city council race. One of those persons may be Ray Madrigal, a retired California Highway Patrol captain who may be thinking about jumping into the fray.

Madrigal is a long-time Lemoore resident who retired from the CHP a few years ago after commanding a Highway Patrol unit in Northern California. He’s home now and wants to contribute something to his community. The friendly Madrigal may be a shoe-in. His extensive family, and friends in the Kings Lions Club, may be just enough to get him a council seat in November.

Madrigal just spent the last few months helping Keith Fagundes win the Kings County District Attorney’s race and just may have earned himself a little bit of experience when it comes to running for office. He helped with fundraisers, walked precincts and studied the issues, all things he will have to do if he decides to run for council.

Because of his tenure in the CHP, he knows what it takes to be a leader. We can only hope that if he were to win, he’d exercise his considerable leadership skills and bring some sanity back to a city council that has gone desperately off track.

No doubt there will be others taking out city council filing papers. Good luck to them.

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