Local Candidates Speak Out at Campaign Whistle Stop

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Margaret Snider
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Candidates who spoke at Campaign Whistle Stop at Rancho Cordova City Hall are, left to right: Garrett Gatewood, Jaya Badiga, Ed Short, Derald Langwell, Siri Pulipati, David Reid, Inez Reyes, Andrew Grant, Terri Leimbach, and Joshua Hoover. Not in photo, Mayor Linda Budge. Photo by Rick Sloan

Rancho Cordova, CA (MPG)  - On October 19 at the Rancho Cordova Luncheon organizers allowed local contenders for public office a strictly monitored two minutes in which to explain themselves and their candidacy. Here are some snippets from the candidates who attended.

CRPD Board of Directors

Terri Leimbach joined the Board in 2014. Her extensive experience in accounting, including 11 years with another park district, taught her fiscal matters and policy-making in recreation and parks systems. In the last four years CRPD has won awards and resolved a long-argued Hagan Park issue. “The pool is going to be rebuilt,” Leimbach said. “It is going to be brand new . . . have two pools; it’s going to have eight competitive lanes.”  

Inez Reyes has served on the Board since 2006. “We had to dig in, do hard work, get our hands dirty . . .,” Reyes said. “After working so, I will tell you we are in the best place that we can be now.”  Reyes has focused on providing recreational services that unite the community and enhance the quality of living.

Siri Pulipati is an electrical engineer and the mother of two boys. She wants her children outdoors enjoying green grass and blue skies, not indoors focused on their devices. Pulipati volunteers with local schools to talk about science, technology, engineering, and math. Why is she running?  “I have the energy, experience, and qualifications to do this job . . . ,” Pulipati said. “So I ask you, why not?  Why not give me a chance?”

FCUSD Board of Education

Jaya Badiga has two children. “My biggest priority is socioemotional learning,” Badiga said, which involves empathy, confidence, and cognitive areas that prepare children to get along with each other. Badiga worked for WEAVE as managing attorney for 4½ years, battling to make women and their children safe. She acted for clients’ continued employment and steady schooling for their kids.

David Reid has three children in the Folsom Cordova educational system. He has 23 years of education policy experience and is currently president of the Folsom Cordova PTA Council. He has been active in FCUSD board meetings since 2015. “Our children really are our future,” Reid said. “We want to ensure the best for our kids, the best education, because for them to succeed is for us to succeed.”

Joshua Hoover has three small children. As policy director for State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, Hoover advises Kiley, vice-chair of the education committee, on education issues. “I’ll share with you my number one priority,” Hoover said, “which is to close the achievement gap between Folsom and Rancho Cordova schools.” He would ensure budgetary resources go where most needed, increase parent participation, and incentivize great teachers to teach in Rancho Cordova.

Ed Short is up for reelection, having served 16 years on the Board. Short talked about some of the many Board accomplishments of which he has been a part. “I bring no baggage to the table of public service, only my sincere desire to serve the best education interests of our children and thereby secure the future of all,” Short said.

U.S. House of Representatives District 7

Andrew Grant. A Republican, Grant is a Marine, and attended the Naval Academy. He worked in intelligence, worked at the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and Department of State. He knows Washington D.C. “There is so much about what is happening in Rancho Cordova that is so important to all of District 7,” Grant said.

Rancho Cordova City Council

Garrett Gatewood has , raised his children in Rancho.  He was able to build and grow a company because of the amazing city Rancho Cordova has become. “If you reelect me I am going to spend most of my time on what Rancho Cordovans were basically telling me as I was door-knocking – a new movie theater.”

Derald Langwell has attended around 90% of City Council meetings for the past five years. He is concerned about, among other things, personal property rights. “I see the City is kind of stepping where they shouldn’t be stepping,” Langwell said. He also would like to see sidewalks put into older residential areas. “We can get the kids out of the streets and onto the sidewalks,” Langwell said.

Linda Budge has been on the City Council since its incorporation. “We are a place that’s known as the place that has more fun than anybody else,” Budge said. “Who all went to the air show?  Who came to the City’s birthday party?  And who came to the Park Districts birthday party?”  It is important for the City Council to listen to what the residents of Rancho Cordova want, Budge said, as they have done when considering uses for Measure H funds.

Candidates not able to appear were Brian Danzl, Senator Jim Nielsen, Philip Kim, Melinda Avey, Assemblyman Ken Cooley, Congressman Ami Bera, and Donald Childs.