Pedrozo starts campaign for
seat on Board of Supervisors
By JONATHAN WHITAKER
March 7, 2019
With the backdrop of the new Campus Parkway
extension project taking shape near East Childs Avenue,
former Merced City Council member Josh Pedrozo on Monday
announced his candidacy for the District 2 seat on the Merced
County Board of Supervisors.
One year from now — on March 3, 2020
— local voters will be heading to the polls, and those
in District 2 will now have a competitive race to decide
who represents a large portion of the Merced area on the
county leadership level.
“I believe we need a supervisor with a track record
of getting things done,” Pedrozo told a crowd of supporters,
along with local media members. “We need a supervisor
that will be a partner with the city of Merced, as well
as other stakeholders in the community, so we can get things
done for those we represent.”
Pedrozo is just coming off an impressive two-term, nine-year
run on the City Council. When he was first elected to the
council, he was the second youngest person ever elected
to the position. Now at age 36, he will face first-term
Supervisor Lee Lor, who was also a political newcomer when
she defeated Supervisor Hub Walsh in 2016. Pedrozo also
ran for mayor of Merced in 2016, but lost to Mike Murphy
in his first run for the top office.
As a Merced High School teacher, and a local leader for
the past decade, Pedrozo’s resume has grown considerably
over the past decade.
“My life has always been about service and helping
others,” he said, “as a teacher helping to shape
our future leaders, and as a City Council member helping
to giving back to the community that I was born and raised
During his time in office, Pedrozo fiercely advocated for
funding for the Campus Parkway extension — an expressway
from Highway 99 to UC Merced — along with commercial
development on the route. He made trips to both Sacramento
and Washington, D.C. for the local cause. He called the
project a symbol of Merced County’s potential for
growth and economic development.
Other issues that bridge city and county issues for Pedrozo
include: working with the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority
to extend the ACE Train to Merced, slashing local business
fees by up to 50 percent in most cases, signing county-city
revenue sharing agreements, growing partnerships with UC
Merced, establishing a downtown Merced entertainment district,
and brainstorming the end of homelessness in the region
— something Pedrozo calls one of the county’s
most pressing issues.
Pedrozo said he started out on the council during an economic
crisis and foreclosure mess, but the overall budget was
always balanced. His focus was on preventing job losses
and stimulating economic growth in an environment of transparency
and collaboration. Merced’s unemployment rates are
now at their lowest in five years.
“As a supervisor, I will work the sheriff, our district
attorney, and the city to ensure residents feel safe in
their homes and neighborhoods,” the candidate said.
“I will continue the work I did on the Merced City
Council to ensure a business friendly environment in our
county so we can attract and keep good paying jobs for our
working families. I will continue to work on transportation
solutions to make our roads safer and commutes faster so
we can spend more time with our families.
“The residents of District 2 deserve a supervisor
who will put their needs before ego, someone who will rolls
up sleeves and works with others in crafting solutions.”
Pedrozo did not comment directly about his opponent in
the upcoming race, but did say there have been “gaps”
in communication and the otherwise healthy relationship
between the city and county over the past couple of years,
and also within collaborative projects the county is involved
in with regard to transportation.
The Pedrozo name, of course, has been known on the county
level in recent years. Josh Pedrozo’s father, John
Pedrozo, served three terms as a county supervisor.
However, Pedrozo told the Times, his decision to run was
his, along with the support of his wife, Heidi. They have
two children, Owen, 7, and Lucy, 2.
On Monday, Pedrozo was introduced by a former Merced High
School student, Riki Walter, who said she was a troubled
teen before she met “Mr. Pedrozo” who helped
turn her life around by getting her engaged in school work
as well as civic activity.
“I remember watching him listen to constituents with
such intense focus and concern, and thinking to myself,
‘Wow,’ he really cares about Merced,’”