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No challengers so far for 3 SSJID seats

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POSTED August 1, 2016 1:52 a.m.

All three board members up for reelection for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District Board of Directors are seeking another term. 

And as of right now they have no competition. 

According to the San Joaquin Registrar of Voters office, Dave Kamper, Dale Kuil and John Holbrook have all taken out paperwork to seek another term representing the agency that is responsible for delivering irrigation water for 72,000 acres and urban drinking water for Manteca, Lathrop and Tracy – eventually expanding to Escalon and Ripon. 

And they’re also entering the retail power business. 

While irrigation water is and will remain the primary focus of the district, directors have been making a high-profile push for more than a decade to take over PG&E’s existing power distribution system for Manteca, Ripon and Escalon in order to provide homeowners, growers and ranchers with cheaper, more reliable power than they’re currently getting right now from the San Francisco-based energy giant. 

In June the board voted to move forward with eminent domain proceedings against PG&E. The matter will likely take at least two years to get worked out in the court system. 

The district also owns five hydroelectric power generating stations – three dams on the Stanislaus River — in partnership with the Oakdale Irrigation District. With the proceeds of selling that power on the open market, the district believes it can build a portfolio that can serve all three communities at a rate 15 percent cheaper than what PG&E is currently providing. 

They aren’t the only incumbents of an independent district that are also seeking another term. 

The three seats that are currently up for grabs at the Lathrop Manteca Fire District – those of Gloryanna Rhodes, Tosh Ishihara and Bennie Gatto – are all being sought by the people who currently sit in them. According to the Registrar’s office, no other candidate paperwork has been issued for challengers. 

Currently there has also been no candidate paperwork issued for the French Camp-McKinley Fire District – even for those who are up for reelection. 

Those seeking election to any of those posts have until Aug. 12 to submit their completed paperwork to the San Joaquin County Registrar’s Office – with the necessary signatures accompanying it. There is no fee for filing for office, but those wishing to include a candidate’s statement will be charged a fee that could be as much as $500 depending on the jurisdiction.  

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