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Our Opinion: Allenfor IID Division 3

February 26, 2002

Longtime Division 3 Imperial Irrigation District Director Lloyd Allen has used his charm, homespun savvy and genuineness to keep his place on the board for many years.

Yet local political observers will tell you Allen also has stayed on the board for a long time because, as much as anything, he often has not drawn strong opposition.

That is the case again in the March 5 election.

Maybe that speaks a lot to Allen's strengths as a candidate. Even those who disagree with him on the issues — and we are often among those people — like Lloyd Allen as a person. And because it is always hard to run against a well-liked person, many people simply choose not to do it.

Allen's opponent in this election is longtime Brawley area community activist Ruben Garcia. Garcia has done a lot of good in the Imperial Valley over many years and for that he deserves plaudits. He also is something of a perennial candidate. Garcia narrowly lost a seat on the county Board of Supervisors three and a half years ago, likely because of what at best could be called shenanigans by county officials.

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After meeting with Garcia we tend to wonder, though, why he has chosen to run for the IID board. His knowledge of IID issues is not particularly strong and his interests seem to be of a broader scope than the IID board. We think Garcia simply may be running for this prestigious seat because he thinks he can win it, not because he has any particular interest in water and power issues. (The same, however, might have been said about Stella Mendoza in a recent election and she has turned out to be a fine, and bold, IID director.)

Allen's stances on water issues over the years have been controversial and not to the liking of many, including us. Allen, though, is a farmer, and his positions tend to favor those of farmers. Yet after many years of farmers dominating the board, Allen is the last one left. We think it is important to have the agricultural community represented on the board, and Allen has done that well. Allen also works hard as an IID board member and is informed on the issues facing the board.

We endorse Lloyd Allen for re-election to Division 3 of the IID board.

>> Wednesday: endorsement for IID Division 5

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