Politics · Stockton

Villapudua picks up endorsements for Assembly race

Carlos Villapudua picked up a handful of endorsements as his campaign for a Stockton-centered seat begins in earnest.

Former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman, Lathrop Councilwoman Martha Salcedo, Former San Joaquin County Supervisors Leroy Ornellas and Steve Gutierrez and former Assemblyman Joe Cotto announced they would be backing the former San Joaquin County Supervisor.

“I’m proud to have such a great group of people be among my first early endorsers for my campaign for State Assembly, from one of our local heroes in former NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez, who showed us that anything is possible for a child of the Central Valley, to current Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman,” Villapudua said a release. 

“They know that I will work hard in Sacramento to make sure that the needs of the 13th Assembly District are met, from ensuring more head of household jobs, to easing our commute with Valley Link Rail, to ensuring that working families have access to the healthcare they need and deserve.” 

Hernandez is no stranger to electoral politics. In 2012, the astronaut challenged former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) for Congress but fell short of ousting him. Since then, he has kept his name in the mix for a potential run against Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton).

Villapudua currently works as a government relations manager for Western Pacific Truck School. Thus far, he is facing off against Supervisor Kathy Miller and Stockton City Councilwoman Christina Fugazi to replace Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton). 

Eggman is currently seeking the 5th Senate District.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.