Tacherra says he’s the best GOP chance
for District 12
By JONATHAN WHITAKER
April 12, 2018
Republican farmer Johnny Tacherra believes
he has a very good shot and a fighting chance to become
the next California State Senator for District 12 —
a seat that includes all of Merced County, and stretches
across five other counties from Fresno to Monterrey to Stanislaus.
Tacherra points to strong support, established
trust, and high name recognition in the Central Valley,
mainly due to previous election battles against U.S. Congressman
The 41-year-old dairyman from the rural
community of Burrel is also known for his tenacity on the
campaign trail, creating local community ties, and even
attracting Democrats to cross over to his side. These are
traits that led him to a near upset of Costa in 2014.
Not to mention, Tacherra can appeal to
this region’s conservative base.
“There are so many regulations and
taxes coming out of the State Capitol that are just killing
us,” Tacherra told the Times. “They don’t
think there are any consequences for their actions, and
a lot of times they are not being held accountable. I believe
people in the valley will sleep better at night knowing
that I’m their state senator, and I’m not going
to be in Sacramento trying to raise their taxes or take
away their way of life for their kids and their families.”
With Ceres Republican Anthony Cannella
being termed out, four candidates have emerged in the 2018
race, including Tacherra, Salinas Democrat Anna Caballero,
Madera County Supervisor and Republican Rob Poythress, and
Fowler Mayor Pro-Tem and Democrat Daniel Parra.
They are all headed toward the June 5 Primary
Election Day. The two contenders with the most votes in
that election, regardless of party affiliation, will advance
to a showdown in November.
The rest go home.
Tacherra is feeling good that he will be
among the top two candidates, probably along with Caballero,
a current State Assembly member with a lot of experience
in political office, and substantial campaign funds.
The candidate expects to do much better
than Poythress, who he says is supported by the same people
that supported Dave Rogers in the 2016 Congressional primary.
“I slaughtered Dave Rogers in that
election,” Tacherra touted. “It was like 3 to
1 in his hometown of Chowchilla. … Now we are hearing
the same thing from people in Madera. They say Rob is a
nice guy, but he should stay a supervisor. He just got in
that position. Plus, he is too much of a ‘yes’
person, and we need someone to stand up for us.”
With regard to Caballero, Tacherra also
feels good about the idea that the 12th Senate District
seat has been held by a Republican for the past 18 years.
“They want to take this seat, and
it’s easy for them to raise money, let me tell you,”
he said. “It’s going to be the same thing like
it was with Costa. They are going to have all the money
at their disposal, but who is going to work the hardest
for it? … I need to have more hours in my day to meet
as many voters that I can … A face-to-face with a
candidate always trumps money — that’s what
I realize. … Money doesn’t buy votes.”
Tacherra says he doesn’t know Caballero
all that well, but they did share a speaking engagement
with a Teamsters group once in Salinas.
“She is very left wing,” he
commented. “People told me if she was any more left,
she would be out in the ocean. … She’s big on
gun control, and that was a big turn off with a lot of people
Voting for a “Democrat over the hill”
will not be attractive to Merced voters, Tacherra mentions.
“People here trust me, and I trust them. Merced is
going to be my biggest selling point for me to win this
To get an idea of what Tacherra will be
like as a state senator, consider his stance on the recent
gas tax that was narrowly approved with key votes by Senator
Cannella and Assemblyman Adam Gray.
“I would have been a ‘NO’
vote, and it would have never been put on the governor’s
desk. … I’m for small business, middle income
people and those who are struggling to make ends meet. We
need someone to stand up hard-working residents, and I’m
Tacherra supports a complete overhaul of
the state tax code, and moves to protect local water systems
from special interests “who believe they can steal
our water and send it to Los Angeles and San Francisco.”
He adds that he can work with Assemblyman
Gray as an ally to achieve more local water control.
As far as endorsements, Tacherra has the
backing of both Merced and San Benito County Republican
“With his ability to connect with
voters in every corner of the district, Johnny Tacherra
is the clear choice for State Senate District 12,”
said Merced County Republican Chairman and Atwater Councilman
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke and Fresno
County Sheriff Margaret Mims also endorse Tacherra.
Said Warnke, “Johnny’s hard
working, common sense approach to problem solving is exactly
what we need up in Sacramento. I know I can count on Johnny
Tacherra to stand up for public safety and oppose such disastrous
ideas like AB109 and Prop. 57, which have been shown to
be total failures and have only made our streets and neighborhoods
Tacherra is a third-generation dairy farmer
and small business owner in Fresno County. His family includes
his wife Lisa, and four children. He has served on the Oak
Grove Veterans Memorial Board, the California Dairy Campaign
Board and as Secretary of the California Farmers Union.
He wants to thank Merced County voters
for their support over the years, and he says he will work
hard to maintain their trust.