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Both South County supervisor seats on March 3 ballot
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Both seats that are up for grabs on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors this election cycle will affect Manteca and the surrounding areas.

With first-term incumbent Tom Patti up for his first reelection bid in Area 3 – which encompasses a portion of Manteca north of Yosemite Avenue as well as all of Lathrop and a section of South Stockton – and Area 5 Supervisor Bob Elliott terming out and seeking a federal office, the competition for the two seats is fairly stiff. Elliott represents Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue.

Patti, who has been a regular fixture at Manteca events ever since he sought the position he now holds and has been very hands-on in representing the communities that fall into his district, will look to defend his seat against the person who finished third in the 2016 race.

Elbert Holman, who had a 34-year career in law enforcement and most recently was Stockton’s Vice Mayor, finished behind Patti and Moses Zapien in the 2016 primary and missed the November runoff that Patti eventually won.

With issues like homeless that are reaching crisis proportions in some communities within the district, the campaign cycle will likely focus on the real world issues that are affecting voters in San Joaquin County at large.

The race for Elliott’s seat – which is centered in Tracy but includes portions of rural and urban Manteca as well – is also shaping up to be an interesting one.

Three members of the Tracy City Council – which came under fire by the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury in 2019 for infighting that the body felt was affecting the group’s ability to effectively govern – have filed paperwork to try and replace Elliott who will be moving on to try and secure the Republican nomination for the 10th Congressional District and challenge freshman Josh Harder at the ballot box in November.

Former Tracy Mayor and California Highway Patrol sergeant Robert Rickman joined Tracy City Councilwomen Veronica Vargas and Rhodesia Ransom in vying for Elliott’s seat. The crowded field also includes construction manager and carpenter Mateo Morelos Bedolla in trying to advance to a November runoff for the seat that will be unoccupied regardless of whether Elliot advances to Washington, D.C.

The City of Tracy nearly became the provider of law enforcement contract services for the City of Lathrop during the last election cycle when city officials became disenfranchised with the amount of money that they were paying in the escalating contract – prompting Patti to step in and try and facilitate negotiations between San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore while he was still in office, and Sheriff Pat Withrow when he unseated him.

Ultimately Lathrop opted to stay with San Joaquin County, but turmoil rocked the police department with the dismissal of the chief shortly thereafter.

Both races will be on the ballot in March when voters in California will select their candidates for the November election at the same time many other states in the country do – moving up from the June date that had relegated California to a minimal role in shaping American presidential politics.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.