Matthew Jacob, a Turlock native who runs a small business, has officially announced his candidacy for Turlock City Councilmember.
Jacob is expected to challenge incumbent councilmembers Forrest White and Bill DeHart in November; only White has formally announced his candidacy at this time.
This election could lead to a major shift in Turlock’s leadership, as Turlock Mayor John Lazar has already announced he will not seek reelection. Modesto Irrigation District employee Gary Soiseth, Planning Commissioner Mike Brem, and retired teacher Ed Brault will vie for Lazar’s seat.
“With a new mayor and half of the council terms expiring, the decisions Turlock voters make in the coming election will have a lasting effect on the future of the city,” Jacob said. “This is about electing the right leaders to put into motion sensible reform. In my opinion, the state of the city has never been more prime for fresh leadership and a new perspective.”
Jacob grew up just off of Colorado Avenue, he said. He attended Turlock Christian before leaving the area to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in Political Economy. He also studied at Stanford University and Peking University in Beijing, China.
While still in high school, Jacob launched an online retail start-up with more than 2 million hits in a single quarter. He also launched a top-ranked iPhone App.
Today, Jacob sits on the City of Turlock Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force, and on the Stanislaus County Equal Rights Commission.
Jacob says he will bring his experience in business, leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship to city hall to solve Turlock’s problems.
Jacob hopes to create a skilled workforce, raise the median household income, and improve the standard of living. He hopes to stop the “brain drain” by encouraging Turlockers to return to the area after college.
“What concerns me deeply is the frequency in which those of us who are Turlock born and bred leave our city behind when equipped with the ability to make advances elsewhere,” Jacob said. “I envision a city that creatively fosters a new wave of highly skilled individuals that are proactively building our community. The upcoming election presents an opportunity for me to help reverse the aforementioned pattern by applying my education and experiences to directly sow back into Turlock and catalyze an improved quality of life here for everyone.”
He also pledges to push for increased funding for the Turlock Fire and Police Departments.
Jacob says he will run a clean, issue-focused campaign. He said the facts make clear that the time for change is now.
“Both incumbents are likely to point to recent development and success in Turlock – such as Blue Diamond and Hilmar Cheese – as validations of a job well done,” Jacob said. “However, I urge serious voters to consider that the groundwork that made such success possible was set in motion before White or DeHart were even elected.”
“They simply oversaw the fruition of the decisions made by their predecessors. Now is the time to elect a council that is visionary once again. I am here not only to offer a fresh perspective, but also to glean from our history of positive policy.”