Since throwing his hat into the race for State Assembly District 12, Ken Vogel has received the endorsement of a number of Valley leaders and agencies and most recently the Turlock City Council.
"Ken Vogel is a solid candidate for Assembly. He knows water, he knows education, and he knows what's best for the Central Valley. Ken will be a great champion for Turlock in Sacramento," said Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth.
"I'm very honored to have the Turlock City Council endorsement. Turlock is very important in the District," Vogel said.
Linden farmer and former San Joaquin County Supervisor (2007-2014), Vogel said he decided to run for Assembly in order to tackle pressing issues the State is facing including water resources.
"My main responsibility on the [SJ County Supervisors] board was water and one of the reasons I'm running is I'd like to see the State do something different. I'd like to see the State invest in more storage, groundwater recharge projects and desalinization projects," he said.
Vogel is also an advocate for agriculture. Along with growing cherries and almonds on his own farm in East San Joaquin County, Vogel is a member and past director of the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau. He is also a member of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. In 2015, Vogel was awarded the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau President's award for his lifetime of service to San Joaquin County Agriculture.
"I'm investing in agriculture and water and ag go together," he said.
Other issues important to Vogel include public safety. He said he'd like to work on mitigating the consequences of Proposition 47. In November 2014, California voters passed Prop 47, which effectively reclassified many felonies as misdemeanors. The reclassified offenses include most drug offenses, petty thefts, forgeries and grand thefts. Since its passage, law enforcement has had to protect communities from criminals who in the past would have been incarcerated for their crimes.
Vogel would also like to see regulatory reform at the State level.
"We have almost a shadow government where a regulation is interpreted, there's a court decision and then it’s interpret again... I think there should be sunset clauses, where it comes back to the legislature to see if it's actually doing what it was intended to do," said Vogel.
Vogel began his career in education with the Fresno Unified School District in 1968. In 1980, he joined the staff of Lodi Unified School District as a teacher. He would ultimately work as vice-principal and principal for LUSD until his retirement in 2004. While he may be retired, education remains a priority for Vogel.
He said he has some questions about the Common Core Standards and when it comes to funding education he'd like to see a more results-based initiative.
"While our education funding is low in comparison to other states, additional funding has to go to something that is actually going to go to helping the education of our students. If we're going to put in more money, we have to be sure it'll help," he said.
Along with his background in farming and education, Vogel is also a member of the Modesto American Legion Post #74, having served in the Army Reserve from 1968 to 2000.