A crowded field of three for Palmdale mayoral race
Ledford to be chased by Campbell, Desmond Kester
PALMDALE, Calif.—It’s election time again in the city of Palmdale and this time, incumbent Mayor Jim Ledford has competition. Running against him are two A.V. locals, both of whom have tried their hand at politics in the past.
The election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Maggie Campbell, pastor of Church of the Living God, is a U.S. Navy veteran who has been involved in politics since her years in high school and college. She also participated as a volunteer for the Democratic Party presidential race as a teen.
Since being enthralled with politics, Campbell has projected herself as the voice of the people in several arenas, including becoming a delegate for the California Democratic Party for both the 2009-2011 and 2011-2013 terms.
She also ran for an Assembly seat in District 36 in 2010.
In her latest pursuit, the minister is making opposition to the Palmdale Power Plant her top priority.
“I have decided to seek office as mayor in effort to help save lives of the people in Palmdale and in the surrounding cities,” she said. “It is also my goal to stop the construction of the Palmdale Power Plant in effort to protect the health and safety of our children and grandchildren and to secure a healthy future for them in Palmdale.”
Campbell has been a resident of the city for four years, but has worked in the area for 11 as a real estate agent. She has watched the city grow, and believes it’s her time to take Palmdale in a new direction. Adamant about stopping the construction of the power plant, she believes if elected mayor, she will stop “wasteful spending” and force the reconsideration of salaries in the administrative office.
The Democrat also explained that the current leadership is not considering the needs of the people, but under her direction, Palmdale could make progress and preserve family values.
“We cannot allow Ledford to get away with making one bad decision after another,” Campbell demanded, claiming that the city has shut down services for the homeless, children and seniors to re-route funding for the power plant.
Further, if elected, she says she will take on the issues of ordinances that negatively affect homelessness, churches and small businesses, as well as employment and the airport.
“Currently we have many retail outlets in the city which pay low wages. The people of Palmdale have spoken and they do not wish to have any more retails jobs in the city. It is my plan to negotiate with corporations and do what I can to attract higher-paying jobs to the city.”
As far as Section 8, a hot topic in the A.V., and minority and law-enforcement relations, the candidate wishes to enforce anti-discrimination laws and would encourage sensitivity training.
Campbell is endorsed by The Conservative Democrats Club and The Democratic UNITY Meeting Group.
Visit www.maggiecampbell.org for more information.
James “Jim” Ledford
James “Jim” Ledford has served as mayor of Palmdale since 1992. Prior to becoming mayor, he was a planning commissioner for the city, as well as a City Council member. Ledford calls himself a “local kid” who graduated from Palmdale High School, attended Antelope Valley College, and obtained training at Lockheed.
He has also ran a small business in the area for 10 years.
With Palmdale on the verge of dramatic economic changes with the possibility of the High Speed Rail, reopening of the airport, and construction of a power plant, Ledford believes the city needs him more than ever.
“I think the economics that we face in our city right now—we are into a few years of some very tough economics—and I felt it’s important that we have a knowledgeable hand at the wheel to work our way out of this,” he said.
He added that his main goals include continuing the development of Palmdale—the airport, power plant and other projects—as well as harvesting more jobs for residents.
In addition to the economy and job development, Ledford explained the importance of investing in the youth, lamenting that the economy caused a bit of a setback in the city’s relationship-building in that area.
“We have an opportunity to help our youth [build] a basis for what they want to do in life, a way for them to make a difference in their community, give them real life experiences and work experience. They are going to be taking our city and running our city. We need a better youth involvement,” he shared.
On the issue of Section 8, he endorses compliance and believes the nation should institute the same action.
“I don’t believe it’s anything that [has been]represented by the people [who] are claiming racism. I think we call this accountability and I think accountability is necessary because we have a long waiting list of very deserving … individuals. For us to accept people skirting the system as acceptable is something that I will not endorse,” the mayor said. “So I think compliance is important, there is no racism involved with that. It’s people being held accountable for the conditions they agree to. What confuses me is why is my city being sued when it is a federal program.”
Other issues the mayor intends to address if re-elected include the housing stock in Palmdale and enriching community values.
For more information visit www.jimledford4mayor.com.
Desmond Kester is the third contender in the mayoralty race, running for the second time. In 2005, he opposed Ledford, winning less than 20 percent of the vote. Kester has a degree from the California State University, Los Angeles, and an MBA from National University, an online school with multiple campuses. He also served on the Army National Guard as a medic.
He is currently a supervisor appraiser at the Los Angeles County Assessor’s office. His primary goal is to remove the Redevelopment Agency and use tax dollars to upgrade Palmdale Blvd.
PALMDALE, Calif.—It’s that time again for the city of Palmdale to cast votes. There are three major positions available, including the mayor’s office and two council seats, those of Councilmembers Steve Hofbauer and Mike Dispenza. The term for mayor is two years and the terms for councilmember are four years.
The official filing period for the Nov. 8, 2011, general election for the Palmdale council seats opened on Monday, July 18, and will close on Friday, Aug. 12, at 5 p.m.
Voters made a lackluster showing at the polls in Palmdale Tuesday just as they did around the rest of the region.
Incumbent Mayor James C. Ledford Jr. has two other candidates nipping at his heels in the Palmdale mayoral election on Tuesday. They are Maggie Campbell and Desmond Kester.
Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and an honorary doctorate of divinity degree. She is the pastor of the Church of the Living God in Palmdale.
Erin E. Vines, Ph.D., has been hired as Antelope Valley College (AVC) vice president of student services, effective June 17.
On a unanimous 5-0 vote, college district trustees recently chose Vines over three other finalists.
Vines currently serves as dean of counseling and special services at Solano Community College in Fairfield.
He has a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Southern California and a master’s from University of LaVerne.