He’s a farmer, an ex-state agency official, an experienced politician, and a three-term county supervisor, so why not? On Friday, May 15, Supervisor Allen Ishida, officially filed to be among what’s expected to be a large field of gubernatorial candidates in the 2018 race for California’s top executive office.
Supervisor Ishida, 67, said he’s been thinking about a run for governor for quite some time. He announced last year at a Three Rivers Town Hall meeting that he would be stepping aside in 2016 after 12 years serving as supervisor for District 1, which includes Three Rivers, most of Lemon Cove, as well as Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay, Plainview, and parts of Visalia, Strathmore, and Woodville.
“I think the governor’s race is wide open, and the projected frontrunner and current lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, can be beat,” Ishida said. “My number-one issue is to build more water-storage facilities to ensure our Valley has enough water for agriculture.”
Ishida has maintained all along that as water becomes scarce more people will realize that growing food is the priority. That is the issue, he said, that will position his candidacy to win.
Ishida, a Republican from Lindsay, will not face his first test at the ballot box until the June 2018 primary. A more immediate challenge looms as he must raise several million dollars to run a viable campaign.
“I am confident that I can raise the campaign funds and win the election too,” Ishida said. “The only way we can solve the water crisis is at the top, and that’s why I am entering the race for governor.”