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Update: Councilman Jim Sanders announces run for county supervisor

Pledging to increase funding to county law enforcement, Merced Councilman Jim Sanders announced his bid Tuesday for a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

“We have a crisis among taxpayers,” he said, during a 5-minute announcement ceremony at Applegate Park. “I hope to restore the trust in government at the county level.”

Sanders, who’s in the midst of his second term on the Merced City Council, cited his agriculture background, experience in government and his dedication to law enforcement as qualifications for the four-year post at the county.

Merced County’s budget needs to be evaluated line-by-line for possible cuts, Sanders said, adding that he suspects there’s 10 percent more available than usually realized.

So far, three others have announced their candidacy for the board’s District 2 seat. Former Merced Mayor Hub Walsh filed candidacy paperwork last week. John Alexander, executive director of the Merced County Health Care Consortium, filed Monday. Casey Steed announced he would run as well.

In a candidate statement released Monday, Alexander said his priorities include improving health care, safety, education, housing, transportation, land-use and environmental decisions and local business development and retention.

“I must admit I am not a career politician,” he said. “I bring my business acumen and skills as a communicator, problem solver and concerned citizen.”