Tulare County 4th district race heats up

TULARE COUNTY, California

For 12 years, Steve Worthley has served on the Tulare County Board of Supervisors. He represents the fourth district which covers most of northern Tulare County. Now, Worthley wants voters to help him keep his seat for four more years.

"We're entering an interesting time in county government that means difficult financially but we're also able to do a lot of positive things in the county and so I enjoy the challenge," said Worthley.

The current board chairman says he's worked hard to save the county money and put it on the right track towards the future.

Worthley adds, "One of the things we did which is something we did not do and that is to retroactive retirement benefits to our employees when many other counties cities in the state of California did so and Tulare County held firm."

Worthley says he also has more experience than his opponent, 32-year-old Brian Rouch. A newcomer to politics, Rouch is a managing partner for "INERG," an energy service company. Rouch says he will bring a fresh perspective and will make sure the board has a fiscally responsible and Ag-friendly approach.

"We need a general plan in this community that works for Ag, right now our general plan punishes Ag and if you're a farmer in Tulare County you are guilty until proven innocent," said Rouch.

Brian Rouch is fighting criticism he only took up residency here in Dinuba shortly before he started running for this district.

"My family started farming outside of Dinuba in 1863 we've been here for six generations I don't think you'll find anybody who's more local than me," said Rouch. "The criticism is coming at this I'm running against a 12-year incumbent who hasn't done anything."

Both Rouch and Worthley say their primary focus is bringing jobs to the area and finding cost-saving measures to increase efficiency in the county budget.

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