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Radanovich Launches Political Comeback With State Senate Bid

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Former congressman George Radanovich is returning to politics, running for state Senate District 4. (GV Wire File)
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Former congressman George Radanovich is making a political comeback.

The former eight-term Republican from Mariposa announced he is running for state Senate in District 4.

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David Taub

Politics 101

“This is the district where I was born, lived, and farmed and where my family started a business in 1955. Over the last several weeks I have heard from community leaders urging me to run because our district needs a State Senator who understands the agricultural, resource, and recreational based economy of our district and who has the proven ability to get things done,” Radanovich, 66, said in a news release.

The district covers a 13-county area, including parts of Madera and Merced counties. It stretches across a large geographic area, from Modesto in the west, to Lake Tahoe in the north and down to Inyo County in the southeast.

Most of the current constituency is in SD 8, represented by Andreas Borgeas. The lines have been redrawn because of redistricting, and Borgeas announced he will not run for any office in 2022.

Radanovich and Others File

Radanovich was swept into office during the 1994 Republican Revolution, defeating longtime Rep. Richard Lehman, a Democrat. He left office in 2011 and at one point served as president of the California Fresh Fruit Association.

Why is he returning?

“I left Congress to raise my son and he’s all grown up now. There are some policy things I want to get accomplished. So this is a good platform to do it,” Radanovich told Politics 101.

Others who have filed to run include Marie Alvarado-Gil, D-Jackson; Jolene Daly, R-Modesto; Jack Griffith, R-Turlock; and former Ceres councilman Jeff McKay, R-Del Rio.

Newcomer Enters SD 16 Race

A Republican has now declared his candidacy for Senate District 16 in the south Valley.

David Shepard, a Porterville farmer, announced he is running on Tuesday.

“I am tired of Sacramento politicians cutting off our water supply, releasing criminals onto the streets, and playing politics with our children’s education. As your State Senator, I will stand up to Sacramento and be a voice for the hard-working families of the Central Valley,” Shepard said in a news release.

Shepard, 28, is a fourth-generation farmer operating E.W. Merritt Farms, which grows a variety of crops. He has lined up several GOP endorsements, including state Sen. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

Four Democrats are running — former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Bakersfield; labor leader Imelda Ceja, D-Bakersfield; Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio, D-Delano; and civil rights attorney Rob Fuentes, D-Porterville.

SD 16 Demographics

The district, some analysts have noted, has a 12% Democratic registration advantage. SD 16 covers four counties — Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Kern, which has half of the registered voters.

SD 16 has a Latino majority in voting age population with 58%. White voters make up 30%, followed by Black (5.4%) and Asian (4.4%).

SD 16 total          942,212 100.0%
Fresno County            14,863 1.6%
Kingsburg            12,414 1.3%
Unincorporated              2,449 0.3%
Kern County          477,722 50.7%
Avenal              9,496 1.0%
Bakersfield          230,527 24.5%
Delano            43,637 4.6%
McFarland            13,818 1.5%
Shafter            17,675 1.9%
Wasco            22,800 2.4%
Unincorporated          132,597 14.1%
Kings County          140,322 14.9%
Corcoran            13,646 1.4%
Hanford            58,342 6.2%
Lemoore            27,910 3.0%
Unincorporated            40,424 4.3%
Tulare County          309,305 32.8%
Dinuba            24,688 2.6%
Farmersville            10,455 1.1%
Lindsay            12,732 1.4%
Porterville            62,906 6.7%
Tulare city            49,923 5.3%
Visalia            35,974 3.8%
Woodlake              7,463 0.8%
Unincorporated          105,164 11.2%

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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