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COLAB Hosts Candidate Forum for Imperial County Supervisor District 4


The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture, and Business (COLAB) organized a candidate forum on Feb. 12 for the upcoming Imperial County Supervisor District 4 elections. The event provided an opportunity for voters to hear from the five candidates vying for the position: incumbent Ryan Kelley, Gabe Contreras, Yulil Garza, Daniel Paramo, and Raul Navarro.

The forum, held at Brawley City Hall, featured a lively discussion on key issues facing the district, including economic development, water management, and environmental issues. Each candidate had an opportunity to present their vision and plans for addressing these critical concerns.

The COLAB-hosted forum allowed voters to question the candidates and gain a deeper understanding of their positions on crucial matters by allowing the candidates to submit their questions to ask them about what they believe the direction of their district should be. 

The entire forum can be watched on the Beyond Borders Gazette Facebook page. 

Incumbent Ryan Kelley highlighted his experience and accomplishments during his time in office, emphasizing his dedication to improving the local economy and advocating for job creation. He emphasized the need to continue on the board so he can continue working on economic development and making Lithium Valley a reality that will bring prosperity and a better quality of life to all residents. Examples of Kelley’s accomplishments include the settlement of the IID litigation on the QSA, holding California responsible for Salton Sea Restoration, adjustments to the Solar Benefit Program, and the creation of the Lithium Valley Investment Plan. Faith, Family, and Freedom are the principles of Kelley’s candidacy. He will support and defend Imperial County to protect and enhance our resources and our people, especially those most vulnerable.

Gabe Contreras was first elected to the Brawley Union High School District Board of Trustees in 2013 and was re-elected in 2018.  He is a proud Class of 1993 BUHS graduate. He has four children: Savannah, Gabriel, Kamryn, and Sienna. Contreras has been involved in Imperial Valley Sports for over 13 years serving in various coaching capacities. He has been a local business owner for the past 16 years and strives to give back to the community.  He is involved with the Rotarians, Chambers of Commerce, and the Imperial Valley Young Professionals Organization. Contreras says that the north end is lacking services and he would like to have the opportunity to help the area. 

Daniel Paramo, pledges to dedicate 100% of his time to the community, advocating for essential initiatives. He emphasizes securing infrastructure funding to enhance city conditions and strives to address the issue of exorbitant utility rates. Paramo commits to ensuring that jobs stemming from lithium production prioritize qualified Imperial County residents. Additionally, he emphasizes equitable treatment for all county agencies and educational institutions, assisting as needed. He aims to halt the practice of reclassifying certain Imperial County employee positions with compensation fines, emphasizing fairness and a strong commitment to the community’s well-being.

With a track record spanning more than two decades as a City Council Member and Trustee of the Calipatria Unified School District, Raul Navarro has witnessed the outcomes of collaborative endeavors. His commitment to the community stands firm. The campaign led by Navarro centers on collective aspirations, emphasizing intelligent growth, sustainable development, public safety, and opportunities for every community member. The focus is on inclusive initiatives that address the diverse needs of the community.

Yulil Alonso-Garza, an educator, is running for Imperial County Board of Supervisor, District 4. The candidate aims to advocate for safer and healthier communities and improved infrastructure within the community. The commitment extends to nurturing the ecosystem of the North End, encompassing cities such as Brawley, Westmorland, Calipatria, Niland, Salton Sea Beach, Vista Del Mar, Salton City, Desert Shores, and Bombay Beach.

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