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Mayor Cantu: ‘I am also a citizen of the United States’
Cantu falsely accused of moving from Manteca to Ripon
Mayor Ben Cantu

Ben Cantu since the age of has 2 has lived nowhere else besides Manteca.

That hasn’t stopped the 75-year-old who was elected Manteca’s mayor in 2018 is being accused in various social media postings of having packed up his bags, loaded up the truck and moved not to Beverly Hills but to Ripon.

The postings basically contend Cantu of having abandoned the Family City for the Almond Capitol of the World because Ripon “enforces rules upon the homeless”. The posts go on to say Cantu has a conflict of interest because he is pushing to build a homeless shelter in Manteca in a bid to keep them out of Ripon where they contend he now lives.

And for added measure they question the legality of Cantu continuing to serve as mayor of Manteca if he doesn’t live here. They also state Cantu when he was running for office never said he was in favor of opening a homeless shelter in Manteca.

First things first: When Cantu was contacted at his home near Stella Brockman School and north of the city golf course on Wednesday he confirmed that indeed his neighborhood is still a part of Manteca.

Cantu, who was born in Bakersfield that has been part of the United States since 1848 as part of a deal that ended the war with Mexico, said “as far as I recall I’ve always lived in Manteca since I was 2 years old.”

And to remove any Obama birthplace-like questions Cantu added, “I am also a citizen of the United States.”

Cantu rattled off a long list of Manteca housing he’s lived in including “a half dozen apartments, in Powers Tract (in the home where Councilman Dave Breitenbucher now resides), off Winters (by Sierra High)” and at least two other homes before his last move.

Elected city officials in California must be legal residents of the city they serve in which Cantu is.

As for his position on a homeless shelter he made it clear during his campaign in response to questions posed to him that he favored a navigation center that includes a shelter component.

Critics say that Cantu has declined to respond to questions posted to his Facebook page regarding his residency or why he’s not pushing for a homeless shelter to be built in his neighborhood.

For general information the closest site to his home that would meet land requirements would be a parcel on the southeast corner of Airport Way and Louise Avenue kitty corner from the Manteca Unified School District office complex.

 To contact Dennis Wyatt, email