There is nothing new to report regarding applications for the Azusa City Council. The list of potential candidates remains the same with Jorge Rosales, Peggy Martinez, Paul Naccachian, Madelyn Payne and incumbents Urial Macias and Angel Carrillo.
The news, for now, may be the lack of a competitor for Mayor Joe Rocha. Rocha ran unopposed two years ago and appears to be close to doing the same this election cycle.
This only lends credence to no one believes they can beat Rocha in an election.
Often known as a “people’s” councilman, Rocha is known for his generous nature. He knows everyone, reaches out to those in need, and will often visit the homes of those he thinks could use a friend.
Not only that, but he often has a populist touch to his voting habits. Take the Vulcan mining issue for example. Rocha was the sole no vote on the issue that faced intense scrutiny and was lambasted by neighboring Duarte officials and residents, as well as many Azusa residents.
Whether that was the popular vote among Azusa residents remains to be seen. What we do know is that Rocha may have become such an entrenched character of the council, that no one appears ready to take him on in an election.
Especially, in this election where there seems to be an opportunity – somewhat – for a challenger. A major issue is before the city (Vulcan mining) which a candidate has the opportunity to distinguish themselves on. In addition, a jumbled field follows any of those vying for an open council position. There are six council candidates campaigning for two spots, which includes a battle against the incumbents holding the positions now. This thought had to cross someone’s mind: Would I rather have a one vs. one, winner take all fight or a knock down, bare knuckle, wrestle mania match with five other candidates (maybe more) where other challengers could siphon votes from me and give the incumbents an edge?
Yet, no one appears to want to take that risk against Rocha.
It begs the question: Is he untouchable?