Ralph Bailey interviews council candidate Larry Koman

Ralph Bailey interviews council candidate Larry Koman

The race to win the Ward 5 seat on the Bakersfield City Council is heating up with five candidates now set to run in a special election.

Larry Koman, one of the five, spoke with NEWSTALK 1180/96.1 KERN’s Ralph Bailey on Feb. 14 to discuss the reasons he’s running. Koman is joined in the race by Ryan Nance, who finished third for the seat in November, Noel Pineo, Ty Hudgens, and Bruce Freeman.

All five are looking to replace the seat that was briefly held by Jeff Tkac, who died in January.

Koman told Bailey that he was satisfied with Tkac’s election to the City Council.

“I mean he had a lot of energy and I agreed with him on a lot of the critical issues,” said Koman, who is a former developer and businessman. “I was 100 percent for him. I was really, really saddened to hear about his untimely passing, and it kind of forced me to think about how I want to participate in the process.”

Koman said one his top issues to focus on would be efficiency in government.

“It’s very important that we be fiscally responsible moving forward,” Koman said. “We have a lot of challenges in the next few years.”

Also declared for the race is former Castle and Cooke executive Bruce Freeman, who told The Bakersfield Californian that he didn’t see any candidates that would protect the ward that he helped build.

Pineo told The Bakersfield Californian that the job was a volunteer position, and dismissed the idea that someone would spend thousands of dollars to win a seat on the council.

In the November election, Tkac defeated incumbent Harold Hanson and Nance.

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