Labor rights icon Dolores Huerta, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama in 2012, was in South County and San Benito County last week campaigning for her preferred candidate in the 30th District State Assembly race.
On Thursday, May 24, Huerta stopped at the Morgan Hill home of Amy McElroy, who is the communications director for Robert Rivas’ campaign for the 30th Assembly seat. After that, Huerta swung through Gilroy for dinner with another supporter. On Friday, Huerta attended a campaign breakfast in Hollister, then continued to Salinas and Watsonville for more campaign stops.
At McElroy’s home, Huerta and Rivas stood side by side in the living room, urging the gathered supporters to call or text their friends and family to ask them to vote for the candidate, who has served on the San Benito County Board of Supervisors since 2010.
Huerta, who fought alongside Cesar Chavez for labor rights and who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association, said she is supporting Rivas in the 30th Assembly race for a variety of reasons. Chiefly, she said he has demonstrated “integrity” in his ongoing fight against “Big Oil” and defeat of a push for fracking in San Benito County in 2014.
“The main thing I like about him is he has the courage to take on difficult issues, like fracking,” Huerta said. “He’s willing to stand up for the environment. He has integrity. He stands up for working people, who are the majority of people in our communities.”
Rivas said of Big Oil, “I’m going to be their worst enemy in Sacramento,” if elected.
Rivas faces a crowded field in the June 5 election for the 30th Assembly District seat, which is currently occupied by Anna Caballero. Also vying to replace Caballero June 5 are Gilroy City Councilman Peter Leroe-Munoz; Watsonville City Councilwoman Trina Coffman-Gomez; policy manager Bill Lipe; and businessman and rancher Neil G. Kitchens.
Early voting is underway for the June 5 election, which also features local races for county sheriff, county supervisors, district attorney, judicial seats and other races.
The 30th District stretches from King City to Morgan Hill and includes Watsonville and all of San Benito County.
Caballero is running for state senate in the June 5 election.