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Hoping to succeed Nakanishi

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Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2008 10:00 pm

David Sander is baffled by new state standards that hold farmers responsible for any E. coli bacteria found in agricultural runoff from their property.

David Sander

The Rancho Cordova City Councilman, who holds a doctorate degree in molecular biology from Tulane University, said the state's sampling methods don't determine if the E. coli is from humans or animals.

So a farmer could be penalized from E. coli that's from a deer or coyote.

"I'm a scientist," Sander exclaimed over the phone during a recent interview. "I can tell them how to do the test to tell the difference."

It's that blend of activism and expertise that Sander hopes will take him to Sacramento. Sander, 39, is one of three Republican candidates vying for the chance to run for the Assembly District 10 post that will be vacated by a termed-out Alan Nakanishi, R-Lodi.

Sander is running on a boilerplate Republican platform that stresses fiscal responsibility, immigration reform, public safety and improving the state's transportation infrastructure. His stance on those issues is similar to that of his opponents, former San Joaquin County supervisor Jack Sieglock and Paul Hegyi the chief of staff for Assemblyman Van Tran, R-Garden Grove.

What Sander says sets him apart is his experience in both the private sector and public sector.

"I know what it's like to sign both sides of a paycheck," he said.

A native of rural southern Illinois, Sander said he grew up doing chores on his relative's farms so he has a good understanding of agriculture and issues confronting farmers.

Sander said the nation needs a secure, stable border but not at the expense of farmers' labor needs.

"Reforms have to be handled in a way that don't destroy our economy," Sander said. "If citizen workers aren't available I would support some kind of guest worker program but only if they're completely documented and only in conjunction with a controlled border."

Age: 39

Residence: Rancho Cordova

Occupation: Owner, Sander & Associates; Rancho Cordova City Councilman

Family: Wife, Dr. Maggie Parsons; 2-year-old son David


  • Served on Rancho Cordova City Council since 2003.
  • Board of directors, Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce.
  • Served on the Cordova Community Planning Advisory Council and Cordova Community Council.
  • Doctorate degree in cellular and molecular biology, Tulane University.

Sander came to the Sacramento area in 1998 after working in Washington D.C. as a Congressional science fellow. At the time, Rancho Cordova was still an unincorporated part of Sacramento County, but Sander quickly ingrained himself as a local leader and soon became the chair of the Cordova Community Planning Advisory Council and the president of the Cordova Community Council.

When the city incorporated in 2003, Sander said he was the "ranking public official" and citizens elected him to the city council.

Sander has served on the council since then.

He points to the city's balanced budget and substantial reserves to show he has the experience to balance the state's budget.

But the Republican is realistic in terms of what someone in the minority party can accomplish.

"I don't like the idea you get elected to vote 'no,'" he said.

Sander said his top priority will be using his state post to help his constituents. He said the city of Ione in Amador County has been trying to take custody of the Preston School of Industry from the state for years. The huge building, built in the Romanesque Revival style, dominates a hillside above Ione and is known as 'The Castle.'

If he was in office, Sander said he would make it his mission to find the bureaucrat who could make the decision to turn the castle over to local officials and do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Major contributions to the Sander campaign
The following are major contributions to the David Sander campaign for the filing period from Jan. 1 to March 17. For a complete list of contributions visitthe California Secretary of State's campaign information Web site.
Patrick Willis, repossessions industry $7,200
Cristo Bardis, real estate $6,600
Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff's Association $5,000
A. Teichert & Son, Inc. $3,600
A.G. Spanos Cos. $3,600
Brian Vail, developer $3,600
Conservation Resources, LLC. $3,600
Gencorp $3,600
Gerry N. Kamilos, developer $3,600
Golden State Water Co. $3,600
Jamal, LLC $3,600
John D. Reynen, developer $3,600
SD 320 LLC $3,600
Stephen Beneto, president Beneto Inc. $3,600
Sunrise Mfg. Inc. $3,600
Thomas Winn, developer $3,600
Douglas Ose, Ose Properties, $3,500
James Regas, attorney $3,500
Peter Pappas, developer $3,500
John D. Reynen, developer $3,300
Auburn Manor Holding Corp. $3,000
Mather Development Partners $3,000
Golden Bear Construction $2,500
American Recovery Services Inc. $2,000
D&S Development $2,000
Forecast Homes $2,000
Pulte Homes $2,000

"I'd just annoy them to the point where they act," he said.

Sander is the owner of his own communications company, Sander and Associates, that works with bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies. In 2004, Sander won the "Friend of Housing" award from the Building Industry Association of California and in 2005 he received the Community Service Award from the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce.

Much of the $66,336 in campaign contributions Sander raised since the first of the year has been from developers or other business interests. The Sander campaign reports $182,819 in total cash, according to California Secretary of State campaign filings.

While Sander's name may not be that well known in the Lodi area, he did win the endorsement of the Lodi Firefighters Union.

Union President Pete Iturraran said he was part of the union committee that interviewed the District 10 candidates. He said Sander just impressed the committee with his thoughtful, well-informed answers to its questions.

"David just seemed to shine above the rest," he said.

Iturraran said the union was obviously still irked at former San Joaquin County Supervisor Jack Sieglock's vote to transfer ambulance dispatch to the private company American Medical Response.

Sander also received the endorsement of the Stockton Firefighters Association and the SacMetro Firefighters Association.

Pedro Hernandez, a Rancho Cordova resident who sat on the incorporation committee and has run for the council, has worked with Sander and he said the politician's leadership is needed in Rancho Cordova, not Sacramento.

"I think he needs to accomplish some more work in our community to bring it to its fullest potential," he said.

Hernandez admits he's being selfish, but he'd like Sander to focus on economic development and sensible planning in Rancho Cordova.

"You want to keep sure you're headed in the right direction," he said. "We want to make sure we're having opportunities of attracting more businesses to the area."

Contact City Editor Andrew Adams at andrewa@lodinews.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 11:57 pm on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    That said, I am sure he has a lovely home and gracious manners. I am only concerned about the manner in which he acquired them.

  • posted at 11:56 pm on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    All of that is to not even mention the role he has played in fueling corruption both at a local and national level.Spanos is a poster boy for the need to enact meaningful campaign financing reform in this country. The way he buys and sells politicians is nauseating.

  • posted at 2:36 pm on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    sam wrote on May 12, 2008 4:25 PM:Is it because he is a developer???It is because he is a bad developer. Spanos has done more to ruin this county than any other one individual. The man has made his fortune building instant slums and prefabricated ghettos.

  • posted at 1:49 pm on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    Sam< I agree with you. Mr. Spanos has the power, money and influence to trump any move made by anyone and his direction has made this area what it is today. He laughs at these Lodi wannabes and they have to have his stamp of approval before making a move. With Lodi jumping Harney Lane, a big mistake was made by Lodi planners. Mr. Spanos will be building and developing 70,000 or so homes there in the next 10 years. His projects will draw all those large anchor stores Lodi can't and won't get because of Mr. Spanos developments.Sam, you farmers know that Mr. Spanos would someday be interested in buying that land along Armstrong when Stockton builds north of it. I admire you and your family for farming your land, but someday you will be ready to retire and reap your rewards.

  • posted at 11:25 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    Leonard, why do you hate Spanos?I spent many days in my high school years at his home. He was always so amazingly kind and generous. And my brother works for him now and loves him.Is it because he is a developer??? Oh, and I love those Chargers.

  • posted at 9:41 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    Spanos donates to everyone in the region - at least he only gave $3200 to Sander and not been his lifeline like Jack Sieglock.Spanos has come through with HUGE checks ($50,000 range) for Sieglock in his past elections, and will likely do the same on this one seeing as he is on his finance committee.Sander a Spanos pet politician? Hardly. Sieglock a Spanos pet politician? Very much so.

  • posted at 7:54 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    Dirty Dick Pombo also fed on Spanos slops. It should not have surprised anyone when he turned out to be one of the most corrupt Californian politicians in decades.

  • posted at 7:52 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    I see that this gentleman is also feeding at the Spanos trough.Spanos pays good money for his pet politicians and he gets what he pays for.

  • posted at 3:23 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    The fact that he is supported by any organized labor organization is enough for me not to support him.

  • posted at 1:44 am on Mon, May 12, 2008.


    After living in the area for less than a decade, I wonder whether this guy even knows where Lodi is.



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