IBEW 1245 members took the democratic process seriously in recent elections for board members at the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts in Stanislaus County.
Some of the incumbents at MID and TID have shown little respect for the union members who keep the lights on in those communities. IBEW 1245 aimed to change the current dynamic by supporting candidates with a greater appreciation for the work performed by the Districts’ employees.
IBEW 1245 campaigners worked the phones and went door to door, making a difference in the Modesto race and putting Turlock board members on notice that they can’t take their seats for granted in the future.
In Modesto, three new members were elected to the MID board: Jake Wenger, John Mensinger and Paul Campbell. IBEW 1245 endorsed Wenger and several IBEW 1245 members volunteered for his campaign. Wenger easily won the race for the District 4 seat.
IBEW 1245 was also heartened by the election of Mensinger. The union met with him during the campaign and helped him obtain the endorsement of the local labor council. Mensinger won easily in District 2.
IBEW 1245 did not campaign on behalf of any candidate in the District 3 race that was won by Campbell, a retired banker.
Two incumbents at Turlock Irrigation District won re-election. The union will continue to reach out to District board members who show a willingness to take a reasonable approach to IBEW-represented employees.
Voter turnout was well below 20% in these two Stanislaus County contests, suggesting that a handful of votes can decide the outcome in such elections and that individual IBEW 1245 members who get involved can have a significant impact.