Dorothy Velasquez and Gary Rodriguez, plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit that forced Kern County to create a second Latino-majority district on the Board of Supervisors, say they will endorse Jose Gonzalez in the three-way race for 4th District supervisor, Gonzalez announced in a press release Tuesday.

They will publicly endorse Gonzalez at a meeting in Delano on Thursday evening.

Velazquez and Rodriguez, residents of the redrawn 4th District, were plaintiffs in the MALDEF lawsuit against the county that alleged violations of the U.S Voting Rights Act.

“I am glad to have the support of Dorothy and Gary and ready to provide new leadership on the Kern County Board of Supervisors for communities in both South and North Kern,” Gonzalez said in the press release.

The federal court that ordered the redistricting also compelled incumbent David Couch to defend his seat two years earlier than scheduled. He is being challenged by Gonzalez, president of the Lamont Chamber of Commerce, and Grace Vallejo, mayor of Delano.

Gonzalez's meeting takes place Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Delano Armory Hall, 709 S. Lexington St., in Delano.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been the beneficiary of $218,000 in campaign donations in this election cycle from pharmaceutical companies and organizations, second-most in Congress, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

Dozens of drugmakers have poured about $12 million into the war chests of hundreds of members of Congress, the Daily Beast reported. Since the beginning of last year, 34 lawmakers have each received more than $100,000 from pharmaceutical companies. Two of those — McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House majority leader, and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, a key Republican committee chairman — have received more than $200,000 each, a new Kaiser Health News database shows.

McCarthy has received $1,054,000 from drug makers since 2007. Rep. David Valadao of Hanford has received $122,000 since 2007 and $41,500 in the current cycle.

The Kaiser Health News database, “Pharma Cash to Congress,” tracks up to 10 years of pharmaceutical company contributions to members of Congress.

The California State Sheriffs’ Association is endorsing Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield, who is defending his 32nd Assembly District seat, Salas has announced.

The CSSA is a nonprofit professional organization made up of the state's 58 sheriffs along with thousands of people throughout the state.

Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard has received the endorsement of the Kern County Farm Bureau, he announced Tuesday.

“Mike Maggard’s interests and track record align with the interests of the Kern County Farm Bureau,” said Catalino Martinez, president of the Kern County Farm Bureau.

Maggard, supervisor for the 3rd District, faces a challenge from Bakersfield firefighter Jeff Heinle.

The Fresno Bee has endorsed Andy Vidak for re-election to the 14th state Senate District seat, Vidak announced this week. 

"Seeking to help alleviate the double-digit unemployment that plagues his district, Vidak has for four years sponsored a jobs fair that included as many as 80 employers," the Bee noted. Vidak “also co-authored a bill that would give a 50 percent tax credit to students enrolled in career technical education courses,” the Bee added.

Vidak, a Republican, is being challenged by Sanger City Councilwoman Melissa Hurtado, a Democrat.

The Central California Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors has endorsed John Cox for governor, calling him “new leadership for the Golden State,” the organization has announced.

The contractors association, going with a straight Republican lineup, is also endorsing incumbent congressmen David Valadao and Kevin McCarthy, Assemblyman Vince Fong, state Sen. Andy Vidak, and state senate candidate Shannon Grove.

The organization also endorsed incumbent county supervisors Zack Scrivner, Mike Maggard and David Couch; incumbent Bakersfield city councilmen Ken Weir, Bob Smith and Chris Parlier; Kern High School District trustee Mike Williams; Kern Community College District trustee candidate Lorenzo Alvarez; Panama-Buena Vista Union School District trustee Keith Wolaridge; and Rosedale Union School District trustee candidate Leigh Ann Cook.

Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. represents more 22,000 firms with 70 chapters across the United States. The Central California Chapter, which runs a local workforce development training facility, has 150 members in Kern, Inyo, Fresno, Kings, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties.

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