After previously announcing he would once again run for Stanislaus County Sheriff in 2022, Juan Alanis has pivoted his campaign and will seek election in the newly-created District 22 of the State Assembly.
Alanis, a Modesto resident and sergeant with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, ran against Sheriff Jeff Dirkse in the 2018 election — a tight race which saw Dirkse elected by a margin of just over five points. Alanis had planned to challenge Dirkse in this year’s November election, but the redistricting process moved Assemblyman Heath Flora north and he saw an opportunity to pursue something that many had already suggested to him.
“It was a great, unique opportunity to see what I could do for the community in the Assembly up in Sacramento,” Alanis said. “As much as I wanted to do things for the county as Sheriff, I see this as a better opportunity to help even more people.”
Alanis has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 27 years, and much of Stanislaus County is included in the new District 22. He joins a long list of candidates for the open seat, including Sean Harrison, Joel Campos, Paul Danbom, Guadalupe Salazar and Jessica Self. Along with Turlock, the district encompasses Modesto, Ceres, Patterson, Newman, Gustine, Hilmar, Snelling and Stevinson.
While some issues will be different than those he campaigned on in the Sheriff’s race, Alanis said his priorities if elected include public safety and reducing crime, introducing more technology in areas like agriculture, water rights for consumers and growers, and protecting personal freedoms for citizens as the pandemic continues.
He pointed to Flora, a fellow Republican, and Assemblyman Adam Gray, a Merced Democrat now running for Congressional District 13, as two legislators on either side of the aisle who have excelled at putting partisan politics aside to do what’s best for constituents.
“I used to tell everyone in the Sheriff’s race that I’m not a politician, which was easy because the Sheriff is for everyone. I try to think of the Assembly in the same way in that I’m here for everybody, whether you’re a Democrat, Independent or Republican,” Alanis said. “I think that’s what Sacramento needs more of…The only way it’s going to happen is if you actually step up and try to make changes that take everyone’s good points from both sides. Compromise and make things better with the community in mind, not politics.”
Flora, who will no longer represent Turlock as a result of the redistricting, endorsed Alanis in a statement.
“Juan’s knowledge and 27 years of law enforcement experience is desperately needed in the State Assembly. California has tied the hands of law enforcement officers in many different ways, from limiting communication between State and Federal law enforcement agencies to allowing organized gangs to burglarize businesses across our state,” Flora said. “Juan will stand up for the Central Valley and be an independent leader for District 22. Join me in supporting Juan Alanis for State Assembly District 22.”
“I've been a part of this community my entire life,” Alanis said. “...And I want to fight for our rights. I want to represent Sacramento, not just with legislation, but just as a true representative of our people.”