BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Questions about 4th District supervisor candidate Emilio Huerta’s residency within the district.
Delano City Councilmember Joe Aguirre is asking those questions about whether Huerta lives where he says he lives according to papers Huerta filed for candidacy.
County elections code requires a candidate for supervisor to live within the district they serve if elected.
Huerta is making a bid to unseat incumbent 4th District Supervisor David Couch.
According to documents filed the county elections board, Huerta lives on Belmont Street in Delano, which is in the district. But whether Huerta actually lives there is what is in dispute, according to Joe Aguirre.
Six days ago, Aguirre filed a petition with the Superior Court to have Huerta’s name taken off the ballot because, Aguirre alleges, Huerta does not live in the district.
“My whole intention was to bring light to the fact that we have a candidate that’s running in the 4th District that lives in the 3rd District,” Aguirre said.
Emilio Huerta claims he lives at a home in the 900 block of Belmont Street and that he moved there in August 2019. He says he is a roommate of the home’s owner, Ricardo Delgado.
“Mr. Delgado was generous enough to open his house to me,” Huerta said. “It was my impression the house was empty. … When I approached Mr. Delgado about renting his home he said, come in move with me. I’m retired and you’re welcome to stay and live there for as long as you like.”
But in sworn affidavits, neighbors say the opposite. In a signed declaration Delgado says “During the last two years, I have not made any arrangements to allow another person to live in my house.”
One neighbor said she didn’t know who Emilio Huerta was or if they saw someone else living at the house.
Huerta claims Delagado told him what he signed on the declaration and what he was told by the person who took down the declaration are two completely different things. Huerta maintains he does a separate residence on Oleander Street in Bakersfield, but his primary residence is in Delano.
The judge who took the writ of mandate under consideration rejected it, saying he could not intervene so close to the primary election meaning Huerta’s name will remain on the ballot.
If he wins, the challenge to his residency can still continue in the Superior Court.
The election is on March 3.