Twenty-five people — yes, 25 — are running for mayor of Bakersfield. To help voters choose among them, The Californian is running candidate profiles based on questionnaires sent to them.
To read the profiles we’ve already published, go to www.bakersfield.com/Election-2016.
Name: Marc DeLeon
Occupation: Owner of Mad Dog Tattoo
Family: Two children
Time in Bakersfield: Lifelong resident.
Political offices held/sought: Ran for mayor of Bakersfield in 2008 and came in second
Board memberships/community activities: With RPM Ministry, feeds the needy and gives away donated clothing and backpacks on Tuesday nights outside his shop. Gives gifts to families at the holidays through the Phantom Santa Project.
• Attended East Bakersfield High School
Criminal convictions or pleas in this county and others (include year): None
Civil court judgments against you or any business you have had a financial interest in: None
WATCH DELEON’S INTERVIEW
Q & A
What most sets you apart from the 24 other mayoral candidates?
I just feel that I’m just a normal guy whom anyone can come up and talk to and not have any reservations.
I think I’d give them an honest answer and just speak to them about any problems they might have. I’m not holding anything back.
What three goals would you set out to accomplish?
Firstly, anyone that has spent any time around me knows that I care about this city. When I am elected mayor, my first priority will be to continue my many years of hard work creating a better life for those in need. We live in a city surrounded by agriculture. Yet we have many people, entire families, going hungry, and living without those things most of us take for granted. We as a city can change this, and as the mayor I will expand my reach and help even more families live a better life.
Secondly, I will work to grow our local economy. We need more locally owned small businesses. Small businesses create more jobs, and more jobs will build a stronger local economy. As well as making it easier to start a small business, I will work to make small businesses easier to grow, and want to stay in Bakersfield.
Third, our city needs a mayor who will work tirelessly to continue the tradition our former mayors have worked so hard to achieve. The time Harvey Hall has put in to make sure of things most of us never hear of is staggering. This is not something I took lightly in 2008 when I first ran for mayor, and it's not now. When I am elected mayor, I will strive to be as dedicated as those from whom I've taken example.
What does Bakersfield need most from its mayor?
I've been dedicated to our city for as long as I can remember. It's a passion, one that I can't shake. I know that my drive and enthusiasm to help this city continue on its path forward are unparalleled.
Should the Bakersfield City Council and the mayor remain part-time positions, or does the city need full-time, salaried leadership?
That’s something I can’t answer until I step in and see what all it entails. I don’t have any opinion on it at this time.
For some fun: What’s your opinion of Donald Trump?
As much as the media has been sensationalizing this important process, I'm simply too busy concentrating on what this city needs from me as its new mayor to have too heavy of an opinion this early in the presidential race.