There are two people vying for the District 1 seat on the Madera City Council which has been empty since December 2015, but only one of the candidates seems to be running a full campaign.
Khubaib “Bobby” Sheikh is running against Cece Foley Gallegos on June 7, but Gallegos has kept an almost invisible profile.
Gallegos, who identifies herself as an educator, hasn’t responded to interview requests, and her official Facebook page says only “I'm excited for your support and your vote in the upcoming election.”
Sheikh said Gallegos didn’t attend a couple of candidate forums.
“Of course people have their lives, but if you’re running for office you should be out there to answer people’s questions,” Sheikh said.
Regardless, Sheikh said he’s still running his campaign to win. His biggest issue with Madera, he said, is its lack of economic development.
“I’m not sure where the problem stands at this point. I don’t know if it’s the elected officials or the city and county staff who’s trained to encourage development in this town, but I see Madera is stuck at a certain point,” said Sheikh, a businessman and pharmacy technician.
Sheikh said he believes was the shopping center out on Herndon Avenue near Highway 99 in Fresno could have been built in Madera. Sheikh said new businesses have to jump through too many hoops in Madera to open up shop.
“We need to be able to support businesses, entrepreneurship and economic activity to improve the conditions of the city and the people,” he said.
Mostly Sheikh said he just wants to help his community with fresh leadership.
“The people of this town deserve much more than what they’re given,” he said. “We have the same people sitting in offices for a long time ... they’re not doing what we need done here.”