Our Opinion – Elections
It is rare for the Kern Valley Sun to endorse candidates. However, after meeting, listening, and watching the dedication and honesty of several of those running, and the lack of from others, we have rethought our position.
We are committed to support the following candidates:
Sheriff Donny Youngblood . . . . . . . . Kern County Sheriff
*Proven ability, experience, and dedication to the position as our Sheriff and Coroner since 2006
*Fights for our communities and what best serves the communities as a whole
*Supports the Second Amendment
*Is fair and impartial, listens and responds to criticism as well as support.
*Served the Kern County Sheriff’s Department since 1972, first as a Correctional Officer, assigned to the Lerdo facility, then two years later entered basic training to become a Deputy Sheriff. In the past 30 years, duty assignments includ- ed the Patrol Division, Court Services, Narcotics, Boron Substation, East Kern Substation Commander, Watch Commander, Air Support Division Commander, and Detectives.
*Obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Administration of Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Golden State University. He is an alumnus of the 144th class of the FBI National Academy and is a graduate of the POST Command College.
*Served in the United States Army from 1968-1971, including 14 months in South Vietnam.
Brandon Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Judge
*Proven ability, experience, and dedication to the profession of law, practicing in business litigation, real estate, land use, business start-up formation, and personal injury law.
*Currently serves as a sworn Judge Pro Tem sitting by appointment of the Presid- ing Judge of Kern county Superior Court.
*His vision is to protect our Constitutional freedoms, while defending the rights of crime victims, and fight to keep courts focused on fairness.
*Obtained his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Summa Cum Laude and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (School of Law).
*Appointed Professor of Law at the Kern County College of Law in Bakersfield, California.
*Served as Chairman, Kern County Planning Commission, Chief of Staff for Kern County Supervisor David Couch, Co-Organizer, 2010 & 2016 Bakersfield Business Conference, Director of CSU Bakersfield Small Business Development Center
Warren Gubler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assembly
*A proven dedicated leader for the City of Visalia. Elected to the Visalia City Coun- cil in 2009 and has served since. Served as Visalia’s vice-mayor from 2013 to 2016 and in 2016 was elected the mayor of Visalia.
* Graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Government and attended law school there as well.
*Started his law career as an associate working his way to senior partner with the Visalia firm of Hurlbutt, Clevenger, Long and Vortmann. When the firm dissolved in 2001, he started the law firm of Gubler & Abbott LLP, with emphasis on commercial litigation.
*He led the $130 million project to upgrade Visalia’s Water Conservation plant, ex- panded Visalia’s police and fire departments using his management skills, and has achieved a balanced budget for the past eight years.
Cynthia Zimmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . District Attorney
*Proven to be a dedicated, aggressive, yet fair-minded prosecutor, determined to hold criminals responsible for their actions and receive justice for victims.
*Focus on violent crimes, the past ten years as the Supervisor of the Gang Unit. Prosecuted some of Kern County’s most notorious gang members such as Billy Ray Johnson, “The East Side Rapist.”
*Hired 33 years ago as a prosecutor by then District Attorney Edward Jagels, she has tried nearly every type of criminal case and worked units includ- ing Misdemeanors, Juvenile, Narcotics, General Felonies, Civil Child Abduction, Sex Crimes and Homicides.
*Promoted over 20 years ago to Supervising Deputy District Attorney, training and supervising law clerks and attorneys in Misdemeanor, Preliminary Hearing, Narcot ics, Criminal Calendar, Complaint Desk and General Felony Units.
*Serves as a board member and active participant in the Bakersfield Safe Streets Partnership, working with local clergy and community leaders to help people turn away from gang activities and build constructive lives.
All of these candidates have spent many hours and time in the Kern River Valley meeting with local residents, community leaders and organizations, many times on more than one occasion. Our valley represents a very small percentage of the voter population, so it is safe to say that these people believe our community and votes matter, regardless of our size. We certainly do not need to elect someone who shows up once or twice in the valley and then once elected closes the door on us. We truly believe these candidates do have our interests at heart and will continue to do so once elected.
Ron & Marsha Smith
Kern Valley Sun