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Monday, 24 March 2014 14:30

Gary Soiseth to Run for Turlock Mayor

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| | Courtesy of Gary Soiseth for Mayor|
Gary Soiseth, a local farmer, Modesto Irrigation District employee, and former California State University, Stanislaus instructor, has formally announced his candidacy for mayor of Turlock.

Soiseth is a third generation family farmer from Turlock, who grows almonds for Blue Diamond. He also works as a water and energy regulatory analyst for MID.

But Soiseth’s career has taken him to the White House, and across the globe.

“Each phase in my career – from my time with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Army to the White House to the Association of California Water Agencies to my farm in Turlock – has prepared me to lead our city into a stronger and better future,” said Soiseth. “Turlock has never stopped being my home and my motivation.”

During the past four years, Soiseth has worked in Afghanistan for both the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Defense. Soiseth focused on agricultural development and economic growth in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, home to some of the heaviest fighting during the War in Afghanistan.

“Throughout my deployments, I approved and managed tens of millions of dollars of redevelopment funds that stabilized the most volatile part of the world,” Soiseth said. “It was demanding and rewarding, but equally as important, I was also a proven watchdog for wasteful and ineffective spending.”

Soiseth has been awarded with the Superior Civilian Service Award, the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal, and the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service by the U.S. Department of the Army. He has earned the “Tom Stefani” Distinguished International Service Award and the Superior Honor Award for Extra Effort from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, and the Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State.

Soiseth has also served as an adjunct professor of Political Science at CSU Stanislaus, a field representative for then-U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, a federal relations clerk for the Association of California Water Agencies, and an intern in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

As Turlock Mayor, Soiseth says he would find “sustainable infrastructure solutions” to address groundwater issues, improve highway interchanges, and fix streets.

He also plans to implement economic development policies to encourage business expansion and attraction. At the same time, he says he would protect businesses and farms from residential encroachment.

Soiseth says he will also implement campaign contribution limits, create a scholarship fund for local CSU Stanislaus students, and improve relationships with other regional leaders.

Soiseth has the support of former four-term mayor Curt Andre, who last held the mayorship in 2006.

“Gary is an exceptional leader that I have known for 15 years,” Andre said. “My generation has had its chance to fix the challenges that Turlock faces. It is time to let the next generation step forward and lead – and Gary is the right man for the job.”

Soiseth holds a Masters of Public Policy in agriculture and water resources from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, a graduate degree in agribusiness management from the Indian Institute of Management in Gujarat, India, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Soiseth will face off against incumbent Mayor John Lazar, who informed TurlockCityNews.com last week that he intends to seek re-election. Lazar, a real estate agent, has sat on the Turlock City Council since 1992.

Lazar has been Mayor of Turlock since 2006, when he defeated then-Turlock City Councilmember Kurt Vander Weide and TurlockCityNews.com publisher David “DJ” Fransen. Lazar retained the mayorship unopposed in 2010.

Soiseth will officially announce his candidacy at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Latif’s Restaurant, 111 N. Golden State Blvd., Turlock.

For more information, visit www.soisethforturlock.com.

Comments (23)

  1. Conservative

Lazar is too liberal and hasn't fixed anything during terms. We need Republicans in leadership with fiscally conservative values.

Gary please tell us you will control spending better than Lazar has.

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  1. Good luck!!

Good luck Gary!!!

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  1. Smith

If Curt supports him that says a lot. He's got our family's vote!

The Smith Family

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  1. Change is Coming

Thank you Gary for stepping up and announcing you candidacy for Mayor! Our direction as a community needs the expertise of a strong leader who is honest and has unquestioned integrity. You are truly a blessing and we look forward to your positive...

Thank you Gary for stepping up and announcing you candidacy for Mayor! Our direction as a community needs the expertise of a strong leader who is honest and has unquestioned integrity. You are truly a blessing and we look forward to your positive vision and leadership for the City of Turlock!

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  1. Arson

Wasn't this guy involved with burning down the Red Steer?

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  1. Wannabe

Great. Another wannabe politician! I didnt read anything connecting him to Turlock. Volunteer work? Any boards or commissions?

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  1. Happy

So happy he is not a Realtor who is just interested in having things go his way to pad his pockets. I hope he does something too about the horrible homeless problem in Turlock. I have lived in Turlock all my life 45 years and I can't BELIEVE...

So happy he is not a Realtor who is just interested in having things go his way to pad his pockets. I hope he does something too about the horrible homeless problem in Turlock. I have lived in Turlock all my life 45 years and I can't BELIEVE how bad the homeless problem has gotten.

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  1. Awesome

He has my vote!! It's about time we get rid of John Lazar!! He has done nothing for Turlock!!!!

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  1. A Bright Future

Gary wasnt involved in the Red Steer fire. Please read the news articles before posting ignorant comments. So ridiculous! Gary's family has lived and farmed in Turlock for 3 generations. He is very much connected to Turlock and the Central...

Gary wasnt involved in the Red Steer fire. Please read the news articles before posting ignorant comments. So ridiculous! Gary's family has lived and farmed in Turlock for 3 generations. He is very much connected to Turlock and the Central Valley. Our town needs great vision and leadership. Gary's work in Afghanistan highlights his commitment to helping those in need. Exciting Times!

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  1. Voter

Gary will get the votes of all the honest people in Turlock.

Don't lie like lazar. Ask him about the Vintage Lounge Piano Bar and how he overturned a liquor license disapproval because he was the real estate agent for the building. Corruption...

Gary will get the votes of all the honest people in Turlock.

Don't lie like lazar. Ask him about the Vintage Lounge Piano Bar and how he overturned a liquor license disapproval because he was the real estate agent for the building. Corruption doesn't get any more plain than that.

Turlock needs fresh blood and a good change.

Good luck Gary.

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0 #23 Dear "doubt it will be posted" 2014-08-19 19:48
You're talking crazy...please take your meds with a shot of vodka!
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0 #22 doubt it will be posted 2014-08-19 18:26
California is in the middle of an extreme drought the same year almond farmers make 3.6 billion dollars growing almonds. Almond farmers get tax money to pay for water. Almond farmers get tax money to export their almonds. The USDA is responsible for giving tax dollars to almond farmers for the purpose of buying water and exporting. Gary Soiseth was employed by the USDA - a government job that relies on tax dollars. Gary Soiseth is an almond grower. Gary Soiseth is a tax subsidized farmer. Gary Soiseth has spent 32k so far on a campaign to become mayor of Turlock - an area dominated by old farming families that also get tax dollars to farm. Gary Soiseth is acting in his own self interest to steer more tax dollars into his and his farmer buddies pockets. Gary Soiseth cannot survive with out stealing money from someone through taxation.

It's time we run out all these government teet suckling sociopaths before they steal everything.
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0 #21 To "good ol' boy club" 2014-08-09 13:12
What are you talking about. You are sounding real stupid. Obviously you are Mike Brem's friend who is just trying to tarnish a good man's reputation.
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0 #20 good ol' boy club 2014-08-08 21:44
Gary is the epitome of little lord Fauntleroy. Inherited farm land (that the average person could never purchase in Turlock) that obviously receives federal aid - so a rich boy who gets more money from tax payers. Supposedly he is an adjunct professor and energy regulatory analyst for MID - more gooberment money - and will have plenty of time to be Mayor. Hey Gary - when are you going to get a real job that doesn't involve stealing my labor under threat of violence called Taxation? Let's be honest: Gary is nothing new, just a well connected rich boy sucking down tax dollars and calling it work.
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0 #19 Guest 2014-04-07 08:49
Gary is a tremendous leader with real-world experience. Turlock needs new leadership and new ideas. Rarely is Turlock offered a candidate with global experience and intimate knowledge of the local area - lets not let this opportunity pass!
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0 #18 Tony G. 2014-04-06 15:40
Gary was attached to my (then) unit on one of my deployments in Afghanistan. He was right there with us, going out, and in the same danger as we were. He was there to help the people because he wanted to make a difference - not because he had to be. He was always positive and I can't recollect a single negative thing to ever have been said or intimated by him at all. I haven't talked to him in the years since but I still remember him as a genuinely caring and honest person. He would have my vote were I living there.
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0 #17 K Johnson 2014-03-27 07:41
John Lazar has my vote.
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0 #16 To Change is Coming 2014-03-26 13:10
Amen to that!
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0 #15 Change Is Coming 2014-03-26 05:45
I am amazed at the negative comments by those who are criticizing a young man's courage to step up to the plate for having a vision for a better Turlock! I believe if one can present a better platform, please place your name on the ballot as a candidate for Mayor and make a change. I would like to see this community once again stand out as the Pride of the Valley where community members are committed to promoting a safe environment for our families and a prosperous atmosphere for future growth in businesses. Back door deals and dirty politics which currently plague our council, are NOT what direction I want my community to follow and a change is necessary to rebuild Turlock.
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0 #14 Hey Happy 2014-03-26 01:23
I wish it could be called just a homeless problem. These people aren't just "homeless" they are on hard drugs and extremely destructive. I too would hope this guy does something about it if he replaces Lazar. Something needs to be done, and making shelters and creating more reasons for them to come here from other cities nationwide, as the current government has done, is not going to solve anything.
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