Leroy Ornellas has had a front row seat to California’s political fiascos for the past decade.
Now he wants to do something about it.
The termed-out San Joaquin County Supervisor is making a run for the California State Senate’s 5th District seat – which runs from Galt down to Manteca and Mountain House over to Escalon – with the intention of bringing a fresh perspective to a fractured legislature.
He laid out portions of his platform Wednesday night at a candidate’s night forum sponsored by both the Manteca Republican Women Federated and the Manteca Tea Party Patriots.
Bucking the status quo, Ornellas said, is a big part of what he wants to do when he gets to Sacramento.
“California is a tax-generating machine, yet it’s never enough for Sacramento,” he said. “They say that they want to fix something, but they don’t have a plan on how to do it. And we send them back for another term where they’ll do the same thing all over again.
“Will Rodgers said ‘What this country needs are more people with dirty fingernails and cleaner minds.’ I’m willing to take that a step further – what Sacramento needs are people with dirty fingernails and cleaner minds.”
Ceres farmer and current assemblyman Bill Berryhill is also making a run for the 5th District Senate seat. He was unable to attend Wednesday but sent a representative to speak on his behalf.
Curtis Grima noted that Berryhill was a “solutions oriented” person and that “never compromises on his principles.” And in this election year when Democrats are making a push for a supermajority in the senate – giving them veto power and the ability to both raise taxes and put issues on the ballot without oversight or additional approval.
Ornellas agreed with his fellow Republicans that California’s proposed high-speed rail system would be a massive bureaucratic undertaking and a waste of money, and railed against the concept of the Delta Stewardship Council – calling it the “inland California Coastal Commission.”
“What we need is local control,” Ornellas said about the oversight committee that could affect future growth in communities that fall within the Delta region.
And he wants to do something about welfare as well.
“When I leave my office in Stockton I drive past the welfare office and there’s always a line there. I don’t see too many skinny people standing in that line,” he said – getting a chuckle from the audience. “And there’s always a table out there registering people to vote.
“I’m willing to bet that’s not a Republican table.”