Bakersfield attorney Emilio Huerta is considering a run for 4th District supervisor, saying incumbent David Couch is not the best-qualified person to represent the community.
Reached by phone on Thursday, Huerta said he had been asked to run against Couch in the upcoming election and would make a decision sometime in the upcoming weeks.
“We’re pretty open to it, but again, it’s a decision that has to be made seriously,” he said.
Huerta, who is the son of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, previously ran for the 21st Congressional District against David Valadao in 2016 and considered running for the same seat in 2018 before dropping out.
He said he was weighing the cost of running the campaign and considering the type of issues that voters will respond to.
“We’re pretty serious people. My family and I have always been advocates for disadvantaged communities,” he said. “If we do decide to run, I’m sure it will be an exciting campaign and stimulate voter turnout.”
Although Couch was technically an incumbent during last November’s election, the boundaries of the 4th District had been redrawn after a lawsuit by the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.
In the Latino-majority district, Couch scratched out a victory with 43 percent of the vote. Most political experts believe the two Latino candidates that faced Couch in the election split the vote.
Grace Vallejo, who was the mayor of Delano at the time, received 38 percent of the vote, while Greater Lamont Chamber of Commerce President Jose Gonzalez earned 19 percent of the vote.
“We know a majority of the voters did not vote for Mr. Couch,” Huerta said. “He has never truly represented, nor had the interest, of the community at heart.”
Candidates can begin filing for office on Thursday. Huerta said he would hope to increase voter turnout if he decided to run.
He listed off a variety of topics he may decide to focus on during a campaign, such as affordable housing, but he said he would have plenty to talk about if he did run.
“The 4th represents one of the poorest areas of the state, if not the country,” he said. “There are a lot of needs.”