Turlock mayoral candidate Gary Soiseth has officially launched his campaign website, www.SoisethForTurlock.com.
The website details Soiseth’s biography, plans to lead Turlock, and ways supporters may become involved in the campaign.
“I’m looking forward to serving as this city’s next mayor,” Soiseth said.
Soiseth is a third generation family farmer and almond grower who also works for the Modesto Irrigation District. He spent the past four years in Afghanistan working for the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Defense, working in agricultural development and economic growth.
Soiseth previously worked as an adjunct professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus, a field representative for then-U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, a federal relations clerk for the Association of California Water Agencies, and an intern in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Despite his time spent around the nation and world, Soiseth always loved coming back to Turlock, sitting on the old tractor, and seeing what roads had been paved, he says.
“Or not paved,” Soiseth said.
Roads aren’t Soiseth’s only concern. He’s also worried about economic growth and declining groundwater levels. And Soiseth hopes to better integrate Turlock with the CSU Stanislaus community.
“I believe that I can actually solve these tough challenges,” Soiseth said.
To that end, Soiseth says he will implement a 100-day plan upon being elected. During that period, Soiseth says he would hold workshops for the Turlock City Council every other week, alternating Tuesdays with currently scheduled council meetings.
Those meetings would present a chance to talk in the open about the tough issues, he says, asking the “dumb questions” and having the sort of in-depth discussions which might not be appropriate during a council meeting. Soiseth believes those meetings would allow the council to solve issues, rather than debate ad nauseum.
Soiseth is, essentially, running unopposed at this time. He expected to face incumbent Mayor John Lazar, but Lazar unexpectedly dropped out of the race shortly after Soiseth announced his candidacy.
Soiseth’s lone competitor is currently Ed Brault, a retired schoolteacher who says he does not intend to campaign. Brault says he filed to run solely for the sake of democracy, so Soiseth would not win opposed.
Soiseth packed Latif’s Restaurant in late March to announce his candidacy, filling the room with notable supporters. CSU Stanislaus staff, professors, and students, MID and Turlock Irrigation District employees, representatives of U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, and Stanislaus County Fair officials were all present, as were notable Turlockers Jeani Ferrari and Eric Gonsalves.
But Soiseth’s most notable endorsement comes from Curt Andre, a four-term Mayor of Turlock who considers Soiseth his protege. Andre has known Soiseth for years, dating back to Soiseth’s stint on the Teen Advisory Council while Andre was Mayor.
“We’re united in that we want Turlock to move forward,” Andre said.
Soiseth has also launched a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/soisethforturlock.