Like most Americans, Michael Eggman reached his breaking point with politics over the course of the last two weeks.
It pained him to turn on the news only to see the people that are supposed to be representing the interests of the area that he loves and calls his home paying more attention to what he believes are petty politics than the real issues that are plaguing the people.
And he’s going to do something about it.
The Turlock native and longtime family farmer announced Thursday morning at a modest ceremony outside of Modesto’s City Hall that he’ll be running next fall as a Democrat to take on Republican incumbent Jeff Denham for control of California’s 10th Congressional District.
While his complaints about Denham’s leadership runs deep, Eggman’s comments focused mainly on the Congressman’s actions during the government shutdown process and the push towards a fiscal default that would have had disastrous consequences for the country and for people of the sprawling district which encompasses most of Stanislaus and portions of San Joaquin Counties.
“There was a study done that said that the shutdown cost America 120,000 jobs. Those just aren’t numbers on a page – those are real people, real families,” he said. “We here in the valley, we work hard for a living and we pay our bills and all that we want for it in return is a fair shake and a chance for that American Dream.
“And the people in my district are worrying that they aren’t going to get their chance at achieving that the way that things are going right now.”
Eggman has hit the ground running in a district that Denham won handily after redistricting efforts were approved following the 2010 census. His agricultural roots have allowed him to network with farmers up and down the valley. He has heard their problems and their concerns firsthand – whether it’s with the price that they’re getting because other crops or commodities are subsidized or the amount of water that’s not flowing their direction.
But he’ll have his hands full with a Congressman who has worked his way from back-bencher to subcommittee chairman in just over two years, now serving as the head of the subcommittee on economic development, public buildings and emergency preparedness.
Last year Denham brought powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (who wasn’t in that position at the time) to Stockton for a subcommittee hearing.
Despite the Beltway bigwigs, Eggman says he’s unswayed and just wants to do the people’s work – making sure that working class families in the community that he loves stand a chance at