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11 Candidates Seek Two Central Basin Water Board Slots

campaign-2014By Brian Hews

After being the focal point of a massive probe by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and after some of the ugliest public meetings by any governmental agency in Southern California, nearly a dozen hopefuls have flocked to be candidates for two Director seats on the Central Basin Municipal Water District.
Two incumbents who have been in the cross hairs in the political fray are still considered strong contenders for reelection bids due to the number of opponents who have flocked to the normally sedate campaign.
Division Two:
Incumbent Robert Apodaca who has been hammered in the media and at open meetings for being involved in a salacious sexual harassment lawsuit with a former female employee is hoping that voters will give him another four years in office. His district includes a wide portion of Whittier.
Challenging Apodaca are L. Hillary Barba, a resident of Whittier who lists herself on the ballot as a Businesswoman and Mother; James Edward Becerra, a College Professor from Whittier; Noel A. Jaimes, an independent business owner from La Mirada, and the final candidate is Tom Malkasian who is a Retired Water Strategist from the Whittier area.
Division Three:
Incumbent Art Chacon has attracted five challengers for his seat that covers the area in and around Commerce, East Los Angeles and Huntington Park.
The hopefuls include Anthony Felix, Jr., a Law Clerk and resident of Los Angeles; Jason Gardea-Stinnett, a Public Information Officer at Commerce City Hall; Mario Gomez, who is a city councilmember from Huntington Park; Elba Romo, a teacher/independent business owner also from Huntington Park, and C.J. Salgado, a resident of Los Angeles who is an Environmental Scientist/Manager.