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Cannella won’t seek DeMartini’s seat after all
Senator Anthony Cannella will not have to sacrifice time with his family now that he has decided not to run for the DIstrict 1 Supervisor seat occupied by Jim DeMartini. This photo shows the Cannellas in Washington, D.C. in 2017.

Anthony Cannella, the former mayor and former state Senator, will not try to claim the District 5 seat on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors soon to be left vacant by Jim DeMartini.

DeMartini, a Westport area farmer, announced that he won’t seek a fifth term on the board, meaning he will be out of office at the end of 2020. His district includes Ceres, Westport, Patterson, Newman and Westley.

Cannella, 50, who was termed out of the California State Senate in 2018, had geared up for a run last month but signaled last week that he is abandoning those plans. He cited potential conflicts of interest with his Modesto engineering firm. After consulting with an attorney and others, Cannella said it would “not be fair” to constituents if he were to serve on the board and make decisions that could be in conflict with developments as well as his engineering group doing surveying for the county.

Cannella issued a statement to a local newspaper, stating: “I have always believed in the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to government and politics. Before this campaign year began in earnest, I wanted to make certain that I had left no stone unturned and ensured that nothing would interfere with my ability to fully represent the interests of Stanislaus County and the residents of District 5.”

Cannella was mayor of Ceres and was elected to the 12th Senate District. A lifelong Ceres resident and owner of Northstar Engineering, Cannella got his first taste of local government experience when he was appointed to the Ceres Planning Commission in 1999. He was elected to the Ceres City Council in 2003, Cannella and was unopposed for mayor in 2005 and 2007. He has not ruled out seeking another office in the future.

The official period for candidates to file for the March 2020 primary runs from Nov. 11 to Dec. 6, with an extension to Dec. 11 if the incumbent fails to run for re-election.

Also planning to not run again are former state assemblywoman and District 1 Supervisor Kristin Olsen. Among those who are seeking the office are Ceres native Buck Condit, who is the son of retired Modesto Police Officer Burl Condit; Modesto Councilman Bill Zoslocki and Waterford Mayor Mike Van Winkle. The district represents Oakdale, Riverbank and Waterford.

District 2 Supervisor Vito Chiesa, who represents Hughson and Turlock, will be seeking re-election.

Should no candidate in the March primary collect more than half of the votes, the two candidates with the highest amounts of votes will move on to the November general election.