VACAVILLE — Four people are competing to serve a redrawn 4th District that still includes much of Vacaville, but now also Dixon.
Whoever is elected will help guide county government at a time when the budget is recovering from the Great Recession. Agricultural interests also loom large in the 4th District, with major crops ranging from tomatoes to walnuts to nursery stock.
Eugene Ray says he is running for supervisor because he expects more from elected officials in California than people are getting.
He doesn’t want to see his children have to move to another area to find work, Ray said. He believes people should be able to walk down any county street in safety, he said.
He’s been in the local political spotlight before. Ray as a Republican candidate unsuccessfully challenged Democrats Rep. George Miller in 2010 and Rep. John Garamendi in 2012.
Ray was born in Los Angeles, moved to Vacaville as a child and attended a one-room Browns Valley school. He has a ninth-degree black belt in karate.
Several years ago, he set up a program that offered children free karate lessons in return for staying out of trouble and keeping grades up. The programs ran out of churches in Fairfield-Suisun City, Vacaville, Dixon and Winters.
Such programs could be set up today in every city, Ray said. Aiming younger children in the right direction helps take the legs from gangs and crime, he said.
Ray has been in local real estate for 30 years. Among the development ideas he sees today that he doesn’t like is Plan Bay Area, a regional attempt to promote compact neighborhoods near mass transit centers in the nine Bay Area counties.
“They want to tell us how to live,” Ray said. “In order to do that, they have to find some way to control us.”
To do that, Plan Bay Area is using the premise of fighting global warming, Ray said. But he believes this premise of human-caused global warming is wrong.
He talked of keeping uses off of the county’s prime farmland that can be put on lower-quality soils. He prefers family farming to corporate farming.
“Family farming, they tend to be part of the community, they have ties to the community . . . corporations exist for their own benefit,” Ray said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.