The Bakersfield City Council is holding elections in November for various wards, and the list of people who are running has finally become clear. Two Councilmen are running unopposed: Ward 2 Councilman Andrae Gonzales and Ward 5 Councilman Bruce Freeman.
“Since nobody tried to run against me proves the point that I’m doing my job well,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales also stated that Ward 2 is very diverse, and he is proud to represent and provide for his constituents’ varied needs. He also plans to focus his second term to assist the homeless and issues such as chronic nuisance on properties.
Freeman, who is also running unopposed in his race for Ward 5, commented as well that his focus would be on decreasing the homeless numbers, supporting public safety, improving the brand of the city while also streamlining the process to get local businesses up and running. Freeman has also not run a full term due to the fact that he had replaced Councilman Jeff Tkac who died while still in office in 2017.
While Gonzales and Freeman are running unopposed, there is a battle for Ward 6 that includes Patty Gray, who owns DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, pastor and community activist Gregory Tatum, urgent care medical assistant Jesse Quijada, and Titus Stevens, a comedian, and actor who previously worked as a technician for AT&T.
Gray’s goals for her running term are to protect neighborhoods and commercial centers from crime, keep up on repairs and construction of streets and roads, and to make it easier for business owners to create and keep new jobs, according to her announcement on Facebook. With Gray’s background as a business owner, she hopes everyone is ‘ready to rebuild’.
Tatum announced on June 9 that he would be running for Ward 6 and has recently updated his goals on what he would do if elected. Tatum said he would hope that his experience working with those who have had addiction problems and with gang members would help him in his race for election. Tatum also stated that he would work to assist veterans who are homeless and take action to make crime rates go down as a candidate.
Stevens plans wants to provide more security and safety within neighborhoods and to reconnect the current government to the people of Bakersfield, according to his campaign website.
Quijada did not respond to requests for comment or provide any information on his plans if he gets elected.
Ward 1 position is being fought between Eric Arias and Gilberto De La Torre.
Arias believes he would be a trustworthy candidate after serving as a field representative for State Assemblyman Rudy Salsa and also Supervisor Leticia Perez. Arias said he has helped organize community events.
De La Torre provided that he would help to improve Bakersfield’s under preforming schools and attract good jobs, promote small business, decrease violence, and revitalize our city.
Elections will take place on November 3 to determine the new ward members of the Bakersfield City Council.