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By Randy Economy
California State Assemblyman Tony Mendoza is proud of being “an outsider” when it comes to this upcoming election for a seat on the Central Basin Water Board of Directors.
Mendoza, 41, is coming to the end of a voter mandated term limits as a member of the state assembly, and prior to that served three terms as an Artesia City Council member and past mayor.
A former school teacher at Brooklyn Avenue Elementary School in Los Angeles, Mendoza was also an active leader with the United Teachers of Los Angeles prior to his election to the State Assembly. He is married to his wife Leticia and they have four children who all attend local ABC Unified District schools.
Mendoza took many by surprise when he announced that he would be challenging three term incumbent Phil Hawkins for this year’s June campaign.
He told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in an interview that “there are some serious issues that have been raised at the Central Basin Water Board. During the past 12 months, there has been article after article, and I have been asked by many local community leaders and voters to run for this position.”
“I am coming from Sacramento and I can hit the ground running, and you can go in there are really flush out the problems,” Mendoza quipped.
“I don’t shy away from getting to the truth,” he said.
When asked by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Editor Jerry Bernstein if he taught if there was “corruption” at Central Basin Water District Mendoza said “I truly believe there is something there. When you hear and read about some of the instances going on it is truly disappointing.”
Mendoza said that Hawkins and other Central Basin Water Board Directors moved the election to this June in an “attempt to protect their incumbency” with voters. He called the actions of the current elected board members as being “self serving instead of serving the best interest of the voters.”
Mendoza also addressed a possible campaign for State Senate in 2014 by saying he “doesn’t know what he is doing next.”
“In politics is it all about opportunities, and when they arise,” he said. “My time is up in the Assembly, due to voter term limits,” Mendoza said.
“It isn’t my fault that term limits are in play in Sacramento,” Mendoza said.
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