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Saucedo joins crowded race for Assembly

December 14, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

Ramon Saucedo says business is the life of the Imperial and Coachella valleys. This belief is the spark that caused him to throw his hat into a crowded ring for the state Assembly District 80 seat.

The 34-year-old Saucedo, of Imperial, says business is the focus of his campaign. He has owned Early Detection Security in El Centro with his wife, Celia Rodriguez, for over 13 years.

Saucedo thinks incentives to bring businesses to both valleys will provide low-wage jobs.

"Having a $10 to $15 an hour job would be great, but here we have people willing to work for minimum wage," he said.

Saucedo believes a low-wage work force is one incentive for business owners to come to the valleys. Other incentives include inexpensive land and utilities and an ample supply of water.


Saucedo is concerned about farmland fallowing, which would remove agricultural land from farming activities to save water.

The Salton Sea Authority proposed fallowing to save the sea if the Imperial Irrigation District-San Diego County water transfer deal goes through.

"I am concerned people will lose their jobs. It will especially hurt the city of Calexico, where a lot of farm workers live," Saucedo said.

Farm workers' rights are an important issue to Saucedo, who said his mother still works in the fields.

The Imperial Valley is being asked to give up farm jobs so Palm Springs can have 90 golf courses, he said. Saucedo thinks there is room for San Diego and Palm Springs to conserve more water.

Saucedo is also concerned about pollution in the valleys. He and his wife have four children and he wants to make sure they have clean air to breathe in the future.

He does not trust the U.S. owners of two power plants being built in Mexicali, San Diego-based Sempra Energy Resources and Intergen Aztec Energy of Boston.

"If these people were truthful in what they're saying, they would build the plants here, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could regulate them," Saucedo said.

Although he has no previous political experience, Saucedo says he cares for people and wants to serve. He has worked with the El Centro Police Athletic League and was the group's president. He also coached basketball in Imperial.

Saucedo joins Republican Blake L. Miles, 47, of El Centro, and Riverside residents Democrats Gregory S. Pettis and Joey Acuña and Republicans Svetlana "Anna" Nevenic, Bonnie Garcia, and La Quinta Mayor John Peña for the seat held by David Kelley, R-Idyllwild, who plans to retire when his term expires.

>> Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or

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