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Turlock farmer kicks off campaign for Mayor

Promises bold leadership and commitment to stronger and better future for community

Turlock farmer kicks off campaign for Mayor

Third generation farmer and Turlock resident Gary Soiseth has announced his candidacy for Mayor of Turlock, being the only current candidate running against Mayor John Lazar in the November election.

POSTED March 24, 2014 9:53 p.m.

As a third generation family farmer from Turlock, Gary Soiseth will officially kick off his campaign for Mayor of Turlock on Tuesday morning at Latif’s Restaurant.

Officially announcing his candidacy on Monday evening, Soiseth says he will focus on bringing sustainable infrastructure solutions to Turlock’s current diminishing groundwater resources, and improving the City’s inadequate highway interchanges and neglected local roadways if elected as mayor.

Additionally, Soiseth plans to further economic growth initiatives that will better protect businesses and farms from residential encroachment, set conditions for business expansion and relocation into Turlock, and enforce clear growth patterns to help protect prime agricultural land.

Soiseth’s diverse background includes having spent the past four years working in Afghanistan on agriculture development, teaching in the Political Science Department at California State University, Stanislaus, and advising Modesto Irrigation District management on water and energy policy. With his vast experience, Soiseth hopes to restore relationships with all of Turlock’s city, county and regional stakeholders in addition to protecting taxpayer dollars.

“Each phase in my career – from my time with the US Departments of Agriculture and the Army to the White House to the Association of California Water Agencies to my farm in Turlock – has prepared me to lead our city into a stronger and better future,” said Soiseth. “Turlock has never stopped being my home and my motivation.”

Even during his time in Afghanistan, Soiseth says that one of his main focuses was to help avoid wasteful and ineffective spending while managing redevelopment funds – a skill that he hopes to utilize as the Mayor of Turlock, as he helps guide efficient City spending.

 “Waking up every day to stabilize the country in an effort to keep troops safe and assist the people of Afghanistan was humbling. Throughout my deployments, I approved and managed tens of millions of dollars of redevelopment funds that stabilized the most volatile part of the world,” said Soiseth. “It was demanding and rewarding, but equally as important, I was also a proven watchdog for wasteful and ineffective spending.”

“As hard as I worked to be a good steward of taxpayer funds in Afghanistan, I plan on working equally as hard in City Hall to bring about solutions while maintaining fiscal common sense.”

As mayor, Soiseth says he will assert himself as a bold leader by establishing a self-imposed and transparent contribution limits for donors, while also creating a public policy scholarship fund for local CSU Stanislaus students. Being active in the community already, many have expressed their support for Soiseth’s candidacy, including former four-term Turlock Mayor Curt Andre.

“Gary is an exceptional leader that I have known for 15 years. My generation has had its chance to fix the challenges that Turlock faces. It is time to let the next generation step forward and lead,” said Andre. “Gary is the right man for the job.”

In addition to being a proud Blue Diamond almond grower, Soiseth holds a Master of Public Policy degree in agriculture and water resources from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and the Indian Institute of Management in Gujarat, India; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

A campaign kickoff event for Soiseth will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at Latif’s Restaurant, located at 111 N. Golden State Blvd.


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