An attorney well known in local government circles is among candidates seeking to succeed incumbent Jim DeMartini as Stanislaus County’s District 5 supervisor.
Tom Hallinan, whose resume includes service as city attorney in Newman, Patterson and Ceres - has announced his candidacy for the county position.
DeMartini is not seeking re-election after serving four terms on the Board of Supervisors.
Hallinan told Mattos Newspapers that he decided to run after announced candidate and former State Senator Anthony Cannella, widely viewed as a prohibitive favorite to succeed DeMartini, decided not to run for the seat.
A three-candidate March primary is shaping up between Hallinan and Ceres City Council members Channce Condit and Mike Kline. If no candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will go to a November run-off.
Hallinan’s experience includes more than two decades of service representing cities on the West Side (he is currently deputy city attorney in Newman and remains city attorney in Patterson and Ceres), as well as 20 years of service on the Yosemite Community College District Board of Trustees and a variety of appointed offices, including the Stanislaus County Fair Board of Directors. He also represents three community service districts on the West Side, Hallinan noted.
“Local government is what I have done for a quarter century. I love my job, and would love to do this job,” Hallinan told Mattos Newspapers. “The cities and county need to work better together in this environment, and I think I am uniquely positioned to (facilitate) that.”
On a countywide basis, Hallinan said, his goals include bolstering public safety, promoting economic development and addressing issues surrounding homelessness.
His priorities specific to the West Side include pursuing solutions to Orestimba Creek flooding, making sure that if the Crows Landing industrial park develops it does so in a manner beneficial to the region and working to enhance ambulance service to local communities.
“For the West Side, the number one issue is to always make sure that we are not neglected. I have the endorsements of the leaders on the West Side, because they know I will not neglect the West Side,” he commented.
Hallinan said he believes it is imperative that the county as a whole and its cities work together to present a united front on issues such as water.
“We have to think of how we can better work together on everything,” he stated. “The state most often is not our friend. We have to band together to have any chance of deflecting some of the negative things coming our way.”
Hallinan said his background and experience has instilled valuable insight into local government and an ability to bring parties together. That ability is instrumental in representing a constituency as diverse as Stanislaus County.
“I know the ag folks; I know the public safety folks. I think I can help. That’s why I ran. I like doing the work and getting things done. I like bringing various factions together,” he commented. “My strongest attribute is the collaborative nature of the way I do things.”