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Former Oxnard Councilman to Run for Mayor

August 21, 2003|Sandra Murillo | Times Staff Writer

After nearly a year off from political life, former Oxnard City Councilman Tom Holden said Wednesday that he would run for mayor next year.

The 49-year-old Holden, an optometrist who stepped down late last year after 10 years on the council, said he was ready to get back into local politics.

"My break was welcome, but I never ruled out [running for] future office," Holden said. "I just feel that if we are to accomplish what this city needs to accomplish, we need new energy and new ideas and leadership in that position."

The news came one week after longtime Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez announced that he was running for county supervisor. But Holden said his decision was made even before Lopez entered the supervisorial race.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday August 22, 2003 Ventura County Edition California Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 2 inches; 89 words Type of Material: Correction
Former Oxnard City Councilman Tom Holden announced this week that he would run for mayor next year.
Holden, 49, served 10 years as a councilman before stepping down late last year. He is the first to announce his candidacy for the city's top job.
His decision to run in next year's November general election comes after Mayor Manuel Lopez announced he would run for county supervisor in the March primary election.
Holden was incorrectly named in a photo caption in Thursday's newspaper. The photo was of Councilman Dean Maulhardt.

"It really became apparent as I started the process of talking to community leaders that it was time to get back to work," Holden said.

Local Latino activist Hank Lacayo said he supported Holden's mayoral bid. "He's a home-grown boy, he has the experience, he's young and he knows the area pretty well."

Holden said he serves on the board of directors of the local Boys & Girls Club and remains active throughout the county.

Although he said it was too early to discuss specifics, Holden believes public safety will be a main issue for Oxnard, the county's largest city with more than 170,000 residents. This year, there have been 15 homicides in the city.

"Oxnard isn't the city it was 20 years ago," Holden said. "We're a large city and we're going to start experiencing the problems of large cities in terms of public safety."

Holden said that his plans wouldn't change if Lopez were to lose the county supervisor's race in the March primary and decide to run for mayor again next November.

"If he should enter, then it'll be a real race," Holden said.

Lopez, 76, ran uncontested during the last election and hasn't had any real competition since he was elected mayor in 1992.

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