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Former Somerton Mayor Tumbaga runs for county supervisor
SOMERTON — Former Somerton Mayor Agustin Tumbaga is running for the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, saying supervisors must pay more attention to attracting industry that will create jobs.
Tumbaga, a 41-year-old Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for supervisor on two previous attempts, but this will be his first attempt since redistricting placed Somerton with north Yuma in District 1. The current supervisor of the district is Lenore Lorona Stuart, who has announced she will seek re-election.
“I decided to run because I believe that with the change in the districts, this is a good opportunity to increase the county's attention on Somerton and that part of Yuma that is in the district — which is one of the areas most neglected by the government.”
Tumbaga said he believes Stuart has done a good job for the district, but said he believes the board as a whole must play a larger role in efforts to attract new industry that, in turn, would create jobs and reduce the county's unemployment rate.
“The supervisors need to take a more active position, to knock on the doors of companies, and not wait for them to come to us,” he said. “Other areas like Calexico are grabbing businesses that could have come to Yuma.
“The supervisors can say that that is not their jobs, that they are there to administer, but they are paid a good salary, and the people who are here without jobs are county residents. They (supervisors) should help to lower unemployment.”
Owner of DHG Construction in Somerton, Tumbaga said he would open an office — paid for out of his pocket and his salary as a supervisor — where the public could get in touch with him.
“Many times the only way to find the supervisors is by going to the meetings, and I don't think that is right. I believe a supervisor should always be available.”
Somerton was in District 4 with San Luis, Gadsden and the Cocopah tribal reservations when Tumbaga previously ran for supervisor. Now he believes he has better chance of winning, he said, because Somerton's population makes up a bigger share of District 1.
Besides having served as a mayor and councilman in Somerton, Tumbaga has served on the Somerton Elementary School District board, the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club board, the Somerton Planning and Zoning Commission, the Greater Yuma Port Authority and Yuma Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Tumbaga faces Stuart and Paulo Escalante in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.