A free barbecue brought dozens of local residents out to the Escalon Azores Band Hall on Saturday night – but along with the food, they were also there to meet Bob Elliott, a candidate for Congress in the 10th Congressional District.
Bidding to qualify for a run at the seat currently held by Josh Harder, Elliott serves as a San Joaquin County Supervisor and is a former member of the Tracy City Council.
His appearance in Escalon was coordinated by the trio of Ed Alves, Nick Bavaro and Dennis Borba, who hosted the Aug. 31 event.
Elliott is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and spent 30 years in the Army. He retired as a Colonel and served with the U.S. Army Special Forces – the Green Berets. He was Commander of the 4th Special Operations Support Command.
Upon leaving the service, be worked with the General Electric and Westinghouse companies, then moved in to public service as well, first on the Tracy City Council and now on the county Board of Supervisors. He also is past board chairman of the Tracy Hospital Foundation.
Following the barbecue dinner, Escalon Mayor Robert Swift took the microphone to introduce the honored guest.
“There are three guys that made this possible,” Swift told the crowd, noting the efforts of Alves, Borba and Bavaro in getting Elliott to come for the event.
Elliott in turn thanked the community for turning out and offered thanks to the three hosts for giving him the opportunity to speak. He said he had enjoyed getting to know the backgrounds of the three, including Alves’ history with service on the council, Borba as a world famous matador and Bavaro as a local nut grower. He also thanked his wife Debbie – whom he called his “biggest supporter” – for attending and thanked those volunteers who helped check people in and handled the information table.
“I’m very proud to have served my country for 30 years in the military,” Elliott said. “That’s the single thing I’m most proud of.”
He grew up on a farm and said he went straight from the farm to the military, later entering the workforce and seeking to represent the area on the county board.
Elliott said the values instilled in him in the military – duty, honor country – are the values he will take with him to Washington if elected to serve the district as its next congressman.
“I think those values are sadly needed, greatly needed in Washington, DC,” he said to a round of applause from the attendees. “I guarantee you, if you send me there, I will take those values with me and I will fight for them.”
He said bringing new, good jobs to the Central Valley will also be a focus along with reducing the regulatory burden placed on many municipalities by governmental organizations.
“I believe we are truly blessed to liv in a country that is unique,” Elliott added. “Freedoms and opportunities are guaranteed to us by our Constitution. How successful we will be depends on how hard we want to work.”
The candidate said he is a proponent of keeping government “out of our daily lives” as much as possible, keeping taxes low, and keeping government as small as possible, again receiving applause.
“If you send me to Washington, I will fight for these principles,” he said.
The candidate also encouraged residents to help him along the way.
“Join our cause, join our campaign, get us to Washington,” Elliott said. “You deserve a government that focuses on residents, together we can make a difference for our valley, our state, our nation.”
Alves offered a few remarks as well and encouraged those in attendance to help spread the word about Elliott’s candidacy by talking to friends, neighbors and family and, if possible, donating some time or cash to the campaign.
“Bob is the only one who makes sense to me for this town,” Alves said of hoping Elliott will be the next congressional representative. “Let’s get behind this guy.”