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Delano politician explains sudden supervisor race exit; says small group wants different candidate

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In the past few months, Kern County lost a voting rights lawsuit and was forced to redraw its supervisorial map to be more inclusive to the Latino community.

Since then, speculation has swirled over who from the Latino community will challenge District Four incumbent David Couch in an unexpected election this year.

But last week's entrance and quick exit by one supervisor-hopeful left many confused. 

Delano City Councilman Joe Aguirre spoke passionately in supervisor chambers not long ago about the importance of Kern County having a new Latino-majority supervisor district.

Late last week Aguirre announced a press conference to declare his intention to run against incumbent Supervisor David Couch. 

But hours later, he withdrew his bid. 

On Monday, we sat down with Aguirre, who explained he decided to withdraw after realizing his candidacy could split up the Latino vote in November's election.

But Aguirre also said he made the decision after meeting with a group of senior Latino leaders in Kern who told him they were looking at other potential candidates to ultimately run against Couch. 

Aguirre would not say who that group consisted of.

We asked if voters deserved to know who this group that wishes to choose a District Four candidate is made up of?

"Yes. And after this interview I'm hoping that those who feel deemed to be within this core group would make that information available...if that's what's in their heart. Because--you are absolutely right on, one hundred percent--and I would say seventy percent of the phone calls I receive want that same information. But I'm gonna allow an opportunity for folks to come forward and say ok...and truthfully everyone wants what's best. But nobody understands Northern Kern County like Norther Kern County residents," responded Aguirre.

This District Four Supervisor election will take place in November and be decided by simple majority based on the terms of the legal settlement with the county. 

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