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The Bakersfield Ward 1 council seat is up for grabs this November

Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 19:40:24-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Bakersfield residents are deciding on a couple of new City Council seats, including one in the city’s first ward, after 7-year councilmember Willie Rivera announced his resignation to take a position with Aera Energy.

Ward 1 encompasses much of Southeast Bakersfield, and kernvote.Com says about 20,000 people are registered to vote there.

The two candidates vying for the seat are Eric Arias, who was born in Bakersfield, and works as a field representative for Assemblyman Rudy Salas’s office. Then there's Gilberto De La Torre, who according to his website, has lived in the first ward 1 for 25 years and works at a Rent-A-Center.

23ABC reached out to De La Torre but he did not choose to speak with us on camera for this video. We asked Arias to sum up his platform.

“I’m running for Bakersfield City Council because the status quo has not been working for families, and the pandemic has only revealed that we need to do more on the issues of unemployment and jobs, in addition to the housing crisis, and public safety to ensure that we have a thriving community," Arias replied.

We asked Arias several other questions as well. You can watch the full video above.