Stockton’s seven mayoral candidates met on May 3 at San Joaquin Delta College’s North Forum to discuss platforms for the upcoming election.
Gary Malloy, Tony Mannor, Jimmie Rishwain, Michael Tubbs, Sean Murray, Carlos Villapudua and current Mayor Anthony Silva were present.
PHOTOS BY MIDORI MORITA
The Associated Students of Delta College, the League of Women’s Voters and KWDC Radio hosted the event.
This panel consisted of elected officials, business owners, local employees and members of Stockton’s community.
“There’s a difference in philosophy between me and council member Tubbs that will become apparent between now and the finals. Just like it’s inevitable that it will be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there’s probably going to be two that come down for mayor,” said Silva.
Tubbs, 26, is running after serving on the city council for three and a half years.
“As the youngest candidate I think the perspective I bring is one of innovation. I understand that city hall can’t do everything. I understand that we have to go out in communities, that we can’t be scared to talk to people, that we can’t be scared to talk to kids, and we can’t be afraid to use social media. I also want to prepare people for the economy that’s coming. The jobs that are coming will be coding jobs, jobs that require high degrees of technical computer skills and if we aren’t prepared to do that it’s not going to work,” said Tubbs.
Despite his age his resume includes two Stanford University degrees, years serving over various committees and groups and his service to Stockton through city council.
“Myself, the current mayor and the current supervisor have all been in office … and I dare anyone to put our accomplishments next to each other and tell me it’s not clear who’s actually executing more for the people of Stockton,” added Tubbs.
The event wasn’t without controversial statements.
“Mayor Ann Johnston hadn’t won because she didn’t listen to what he told her. If she would have listened, she would have won. And so he said the lesson to be learned here is if you shut up and listen to what I tell you, you’re going to be a good mayor,” said Silva about his first meeting with former City Manager Bob Deis.
“The truth is, this form of government in Stockton does not work. It’s ruled by the elite few rich families that have controlled Stockton for a long time. They control much of the media, and they control these elected officials through campaign donations. Anyone that doesn’t think that that’s the truth, all you have to do is follow the money trail,” added Silva.
The excitement wasn’t only between Tubbs and Silva.
Rishwain had a lot to say about Silva.
“Mr. Mayor you are a weak man. You do not lead. You get yourself into trouble all the time and you don’t work with the council … You need leadership. You need teamwork. I’m your man. I can fix it,” said Rishwain.
The biggest issue discussed throughout the night was Stockton’s persistent crime problem.
“I don’t think they are really looking at a solution to it. I think everyone is complicit and a little apathetic about it because they think it’s nothing that they can fix or they want to pretend like it’s better than it is,” said Mannor.
Mannor owns Finnegan’s Pub and Grill on Pacific Avenue.
“I know how bad it is. I deal with it every single night so I am a little uniquely qualified to discuss the topic and that’s what I want to get across to people. People are dying. People’s homes are getting broken into … When I hear things are getting better … I think about the home invasion that took place up the street, I think about the person that ran off nine shots in front of my house a couple nights ago. I can’t accept it. To me it’s a lie and I hate being lied to,” said Mannor.
All candidates spoke on safety issues and the need for retention within the police department.
“I think we all agree that crime is our number one issue. We have to get police officers on the street right now, and we shouldn’t be doing anything until we hire the officers and retain them. Can’t go forward until we get that done,” said Malloy.
More debates are expected as the June 7 primary date approaches.
The top two finishers from the mayoral poll will move into the November general election.
The next mayoral debate is at 7 p.m. Monday, May 9 at Cathedral of the Annunciation.
May 23 is final day to register to vote to be eligible to participate in the June primary election for California to decide which candidates will be on the ballot in November’s general elections.