While Juan Alanis has abandoned his run for Stanislaus County Sheriff and is now seeking election to the newly-created District 22 seat of the California State Assembly, Ceres resident Chad Condit is also jumping into the race.
Word leaked out last Thursday that Condit, the son of former Congressman Gary Condit and father of Stanislaus County Supervisor Channce Condit and former Ceres Vice Mayor Couper Condit, is readying his campaign. Condit sent an email to supporters about running and the message was leaked to newspaper; but he told the Courier that he has not officially announced.
In that email, Condit touted his government experience at the state level and his familiarity with the newly carved district, saying: “If the Democrats don’t nominate someone that can attract independents and moderate Republicans, we will lose this seat.”
Condit also served as the chief of staff for Dennis Cardoza in the California State Assembly, and as an assistant to former Gov. Gray Davis. Condit unsuccessfully ran for Congress 10 years ago, losing in the open primary election of 2012 as an independent.
Alanis is running for state Assembly as a Republican.
Alanis was planning to challenge Sheriff Jeff Dirkse in the November election, but the redistricting process moved Assemblyman Heath Flora north and he saw an opportunity to pursue something that many had already suggested to him. Alanis, a Modesto resident and sergeant with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, ran against Dirkse in the 2018 election — a tight race which saw Dirkse elected by a margin of just over five points.
“It was a great, unique opportunity to see what I could do for the community in the Assembly up in Sacramento,” said Alanis. “As much as I wanted to do things for the county as sheriff, I see this as a better opportunity to help even more people.”
Alanis has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 27 years, and much of Stanislaus County is included in the new District 22. He joins a long list of candidates for the open seat, including Sean Harrison, Joel Campos, Guadalupe Salazar and Jessica Self. Democrat Paul Danbom of Turlock pulled out of the race when he learned about the Condit announcement.
Along with Ceres, the district encompasses Modesto, Turlock, Patterson, Newman, Gustine, Hilmar, Snelling and Stevinson.
Alanis said his priorities as an assemblyman include public safety and reducing crime, introducing more technology in areas like agriculture, water rights for consumers and growers, and protecting personal freedoms for citizens as the pandemic continues.
He pointed to Flora, a fellow Republican, and Assemblyman Adam Gray, a Merced Democrat now running for Congressional District 13, as two legislators on either side of the aisle who have excelled at putting partisan politics aside to do what’s best for constituents.
“I used to tell everyone in the Sheriff’s race that I’m not a politician, which was easy because the sheriff is for everyone. I try to think of the Assembly in the same way in that I’m here for everybody, whether you’re a Democrat, Independent or Republican. I think that’s what Sacramento needs more of…The only way it’s going to happen is if you actually step up and try to make changes that take everyone’s good points from both sides. Compromise and make things better with the community in mind, not politics.”
Flora endorsed Alanis in a statement.
“Juan’s knowledge and 27 years of law enforcement experience is desperately needed in the State Assembly. California has tied the hands of law enforcement officers in many different ways, from limiting communication between State and Federal law enforcement agencies to allowing organized gangs to burglarize businesses across our state,” Flora said. “Juan will stand up for the Central Valley and be an independent leader for District 22. Join me in supporting Juan Alanis for State Assembly District 22.”
“I've been a part of this community my entire life,” said Alanis, “...and I want to fight for our rights. I want to represent Sacramento, not just with legislation, but just as a true representative of our people.”
Angelina Martin contributed to this report.