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Berryhill wants Assembly more conservative
The next state assemblyman in the 26th Assembly District has served on a school board and is a farmer.

A crystal ball isn't required to make that prediction since both candidates - Bill Berryhill of Ceres and John Eisenhut of Turlock - share similar backgrounds.

But it's Berryhill who is recognized as the conservative candidate. Republican strategists believe the seat will remain safe for them and that Berryhill is the favorite.

The incumbent, Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton, is being termed out of office for having served the maximum three terms in office.

Democratic John Eisenhut, a former member of the Turlock Elementary School District board and owner of Eisenhut Farms, has said that state Democrats are not making the 26th a top priority for funding.

Berryhill, who recently stepped down as a trustee of the Ceres Unified School District board after nine years in order to campaign for the 26th state Assembly District seat, is from a political family with strong political ties. His brother, Tom Berryhill, serves in the Assembly. Their father, the late Clare Berryhill, not only served in the state Assembly but was California's Director of Food and Agriculture.

With the Berryhill name and reputation with him, and experience of growing wine grapes and walnuts, Berryhill has received the endorsement of the California Farm Bureau Federation.

Berryhill is a believer in less state government interference and regulation and has been a proponent of charter schools. Local school officials and parents can do a better job of educating students with less state meddling, he feels. He said serving on the Ceres School Board gave him "keen insight into how Sacramento bureaucrats and labor bosses damage our public education system by prioritizing politics over our children's needs."

A fiscal conservative, Berryhill pledges to never vote for a tax increase and believes that government needs to live within its means.

"As a strong fiscal conservative, I will focus on protecting Proposition 13 and taking on the tax and spend crowd in Sacramento by fighting tax increases as well as tax increases disguised as 'fees' that punish hard working Central Valley families and businesses," said Berryhill.

He advocates government acting "more like a business," saying that wasteful spending needed to be eliminated. "Too many tax dollars are spent on liberal social experiments and pork barrel projects for Los Angeles and San Francisco politicians."

He supports developing more water storage projects for farming and power generation.

Berryhill said he would advocate cracking down on methamphetamine, and expanding the prison system "so that the liberals in Sacramento will not have any excuses to release them into our neighborhoods.

"Democrats in the State Assembly continue to give more rights to law breakers than to victims and continually stand in the way of imposing tough sentences on violent criminals and gang members."

He also supports the "fundament right" of citizens to bear arms.

Berryhill is opposed to same-sex marriage saying "the Legislature must stand up against efforts by San Francisco politicians to undermine marriage for political gain."

Bill Berryhill lives in Ceres with his wife of 16 years Triana and their three children William 15, Alexandra 13, and Gabriela 11.

The 26th district occupies a fair chunk of San Joaquin County, taking up an area from east of Galt down to areas of Stockton, and Manteca and include Escalon, Lockeford, Linden and Ripon. It also takes a portion of Stanislaus County, missing most of Modesto, and taking the area east of Modesto, Vernalis, most of Ceres, and all of Keyes, Denair, Patterson, and Turlock.

Berryhill has been endorsed by former Turlock Mayor Curt Andre, state senators Jeff Denham and Dave Cogdill as well as 26 members of the state Assembly. Not surprisingly, his brother is one of them.