Candidates for Merced County District 3 supervisor to face off in debate tonight

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comMarch 19, 2014 

Merced County District 3 Supervisor Linn Davis today will come head-to-head with the candidates vying for his seat.

Davis, 70, who has spent three years on the Board of Supervisors, is up for re-election this year. District 3 covers the areas of Atwater, north Merced, Franklin-Beachwood and McSwain.

In a debate forum hosted by the Merced-Atwater Tea Party, Davis will face off against retired police chief and Merced City Councilman Tony Dossetti, 64, and Congressman Jeff Denham’s district representative, Daron McDaniel, 49.

Dairy manager and Merced Union High School District board member William Snyder III, 49, is also running for District 3 county supervisor, but organizers said he can’t attend the forum.

“A family emergency took him out of town,” said Jim Price, co-chairman of the Merced-Atwater Tea Party. “We plan to have him back at a later date.”

Price said tonight’s forum is the first to invite all the candidates together in one room. Each candidate will be given five minutes to introduce himself, before audience members can ask whatever questions they want.

“It’s pretty much going to be no-holds-barred, and people can ask any question they want,” Price said, noting there won’t be written questions because organizers want people to interact directly with the candidates.

Though it’s hard to predict what issues are on people’s minds, Price said a few topics could dominate tonight’s discussion: water, the economy and road repairs.

Davis, a 22-year U.S. Air Force veteran, said Wednesday he looks forward to hearing the public’s thoughts. “My focus is what the people want to focus on,” Davis said. “That information is very valuable to help move the county forward.”

Price said those not affiliated with the tea party and those not living in District 3 also are invited to attend the open forum. “We encourage everybody to get involved,” he said. “We want to get people educated and interested in the inner workings of local government.”

The primary election will be held June 3; a runoff will be held in November if one candidate doesn’t have more than 50 percent of the vote, according to the county’s election office.

The debate forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the VFW Hall, Fifth & Broadway, Atwater.

Sun-Star staff writer Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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