Mayor Pro Tem Alex Garcia announced his candidacy for the Kern County Supervisor District 4 position earlier this week. David Couch has held the seat since 2013, and is the only other announced candidate.
"I am running because the Board of Supervisors can use a fresh perspective and a rural voice in leadership," Garcia said. "Kern County is at a pivotal point, and now more than ever, I think our rural communities can be a part of what the future looks like in Kern."
He was born and raised in the county and has lived his entire life in Wasco.
Upon returning to Wasco after college in 2015 to work for the state Assembly, he knew that his destiny was in service to others, he explained.
In 2016 he joined the Wasco City Council in various capacities, including being elected twice as a councilmember, twice as mayor and in his current position as mayor pro tem.
Garcia believes his experience with the council has prepared him for the supervisor role.
"I have leveraged those relationships to advocate for environmental justice for the city of Wasco, including the demolition of the old farm labor complex, advocating for a new Police Department and helping to launch the covid-19 vaccination clinics that are running to this day."
Garcia said he has a deep connection with the community he holds dearly.
"I have built collaborations with community leaders, including nonprofits, faith and public safety."
He feels he is qualified for the job.
"I plan to work hard to get to know and talk to as many voters as possible to present my best qualities and platforms without bringing down the incumbent," he said. "Voters will be able to choose the best representative that reflects their values and lived experiences."
Garcia said he will fight to empower the community and especially those communities that have been traditionally underserved.
"Given the opportunity, I will not be afraid to step up and fight for Kern families."
The primary election is set for Tuesday, March 5. If a candidate wins a majority of the votes cast in the nonpartisan race, they will take office in April. Otherwise, a general-election runoff will be held in November.