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Lodi businessman Russ Munson to run for San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors

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Russ Munson

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 5:34 pm

One of Lodi’s most prominent businessmen has announced that he will seek a seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in 2014. Russell Munson, 66, who has lived most of his life in Lodi, has submitted a declaration to form a campaign committee with the county Registrar of Voters.

Munson owns Wine & Roses, a hotel and restaurant in the northwest corner of Lodi, and Rosewood Bar and Grill, an upscale Downtown restaurant.

By establishing a campaign committee, Munson can legally raise money for his campaign for the Board of Supervisors, according to Registrar of Voters Austin Erdman.

He is seeking the seat held by Supervisor Ken Vogel of Linden, who will be termed out after the 2014 election. The county allows supervisors to serve no more than two four-year terms.

Munson said he can bring his extensive business experience to the Board of Supervisors. Munson cited several issues that he believes the county must focus on, though he declined to state how he would address them.

Issues the county needs to address, he said, include protecting water supply for water in northern San Joaquin County, economic growth and infrastructure issues. As for development in communities like Woodbridge and Lockeford, Munson said that the amount of sewer and other services will control how much rural communities will grow.

The highly controversial winery ordinance, which pits farmers advocating grape production, manufacturing and sales against property owners who want to provide entertainment for wedding receptions, fundraisers and other events, is another issue the county faces.

Without taking either side, Munson said a new winery ordinance should be developed soon. County community development staff, the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have yet to place it on a meeting agenda for debate, even though a committee that examined a proposed winery ordinance last year issued recommendations to the county.

“If I was there, we’d be working on it,” Munson said. “You have to have somebody willing to bring it forward.”

March 7 is the deadline to file for the June 2014 primary election. If anyone receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, that person will be seated on the Board of Supervisors in January 2015. Otherwise, the two top vote-getters in June will square off in the November election next year.

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