Jim Davis

(write-in candidate)

I am running as a write-in candidate for Mayor of Los Banos for one simple reason: Because I am not a politician.

Unfortunately, politics became a team sport lately. Many of our problems remain unsolved far too long just because of this “team sport” mentality. So many sensible solutions are immediately rejected simply because they were offered by a member of the “other” team. As a result, our communities suffer while politicians busy with their infighting. That is the main reason politicians come and go, but most of our problems remain unsolved.

When our politics turned into a team sport, then what we need is a just, fair, and able referee to be on that political field to prevent the chaos. I am that person. I am your referee, and I will be your sensible voice in that chamber.

I am a United States Coast Guard Captain, and a pilot. I served in the NATO forces as a USAF Base Security Team leader in the Middle East.

As a small business owner, I know the challenges every business is going through. During the housing crisis I was working as a California Licensed Realtor, and I experienced the same hardships many of my neighbors went through. I am also a volunteer with the Los Banos Police Department, and I am aware of the problems our community members face daily.

I came to America 30 years ago and I experienced the proudest day of my life when I became a US Citizen. Even though I did not have the privilege of being born in this country, I chose to live, work, play and serve this country for the rest of my life.

Please consider giving me the honor to serve you so we can have a Los Banos we all deserve’


 Paul Llanez

(on the ballot)

I worked as a full-time city employee from January 2003 until July 2015 serving as a police officer and narcotics task force agent. I left my position to pursue my dream of owning and operating a small business. Today that business has grown into a statewide corporation with divisions in Los Angeles/Orange County, Merced, and Sacramento. With the right team of employees, I have been fortunate to build an organization from the ground up, offering above market pay, full medical benefits, a comprehensive retirement benefit plan, all while increasing company revenue by more than 100 percent each year.

In 2019 I was honored to be selected by the United States Small Business Administration to the emerging leaders program. I was the only CEO chosen from Merced County to participate and I graduated the program with special recognition from Congress. In 2021, after a national search, I was selected as an interim director of public safety for a state agency.

I put my family and community first. My wife and I were humbled to sponsor last year’s Christmas parade. Currently I am Los Banos Police Department’s only reserve police officer. I put on the uniform two days per month and protect my community without ever receiving any pay or benefits for my service. I am the current president of the Los Banos Rotary Club and volunteer for a local nonprofit, Operation Packing Company, which is dedicated to packing and sending care packages to our troops overseas.

I plan to implement a detailed strategy for the homeless issue as well as bring strong leadership to city council. I will proudly serve our citizens as a strong unwavering voice for the people.

I am married to the love of my life, Brooke of 17 years and have three amazing children, Ashton, Mia, and Jack.


Douglas Begonia, Jr. 

Los Banos is a special place for me, as it has been my home for all but a couple years of my life. What made this city special for me as a kid growing up here was the incredible sense of pride people had in being a Los Banian, and the wonderful sense of community that we all shared. As a city we may not currently be where we had expected to be, but we still have plenty of hope for the future of this city.

As a local special education teacher, I have developed a great understanding that all people have different needs, and different ways of having those needs met. As I do at my day job, I will approach each day with an open mind and the willingness to adapt to the needs of others. I will bring that same mentality to city hall, and make sure my constituents voices are being heard, and that this communities’ needs are being met.

I have one reason for running to be a councilmember, and that is to give back to this city that helped raise me. I know that if elected I can be part of the solution and team that takes Los Banos to the thriving, successful city I know it should be.

Our youth need more opportunities to achieve their dreams. Their success is our success. Our first responders need to work in environments that are adequately staffed, so they can safely serve and protect Los Banos. We need more career job opportunities in this city, and we can keep people close to their home and their families. This city needs a change, and the time is now.

Refugio Llamas 

My fellow Los Banos residents.  We have an opportunity to help shape the future of Los Banos.  We can continue on our current path of uncontrolled housing developments, crumbling streets, depleting water supplies or we can change course.   Decisions have been left to a select few who have kept control over who is elected.  Special interests such as the Housing Developers who hand select the candidates and fund their campaigns.   

 We have grown too large, too fast, without the much-needed tax revenue to adequately pay for and fund our roads, retain Police and Fire personnel.  As our city grows, response times grow, more streets to navigate means critical first responders take longer to arrive.  We must do better.  More of the same will only lead to higher crime, and the continued exodus of police and firefighters.  Businesses who are looking to relocate will not want to move to a city with a crumbling infrastructure.

We Must:

– Properly Fund Our Police and Fire Departments

– Control the Rate of Growth and hold developers accountable ( De Anza intersection )

– Build a Commercial Business Park

 Our Water treatment plant is quickly nearing capacity and no plan has been set to address this critical resource.  Addressing these and other critical issues requires experience.  Experience in understanding short- and long-term management planning and decision making.  My experience:

– Former Small Business Owner

– Los Banos Planning Commission

– Los Banos Parks and Recreation Commission

– School Oversight Board/Creekside School

– Degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Business Management

– 20 years as a Senior Enlisted making Executive Level decisions on complex projects.

Making executive level management decisions in the private, and government sectors will assist me in making these critical decisions.  Many of our residents feel disconnected with City Hall, they believe that they do not have a voice.  We must do a better job of reaching out to ALL segments of our society.   Los Banos is no longer a small town; it has tremendous potential to be a model City.  We can achieve this, but only thru a break from the past, and embracing a new direction with new ideas with inclusion of all  our residents.  Together We can do it.


Ray Martinez

 First and foremost, I am very honored, passionate, and love serving as your Los Banos Unified School District Area 7 Trustee.

Serving as a school board trustee is not for the faint at heart, or inexperienced. I embrace this assignment with care and seriousness. Our students, parents, district, community, and future generations deserve the best.

Continuing to serve as an effective governance team member demands, great vision, passion, commitment, knowledge, wisdom, innovation, integrity, experience, tenacity, and spirit of unity.  I have served over 34 years as a public servant. I love what we do and there is nothing else I would rather continue doing.

I consider myself an incumbent with a big heart who loves kids, who serves with integrity, prudence, and excellent work ethic.  My effectiveness is driven by my passionate vision for a school district that operates in a spirit of academic excellence, fiscal solvency, care, integrity, safety, and equity for all. A school district that strives in all areas to be a “model” school district for others to follow.

Just completing Masters In Governance courses, my BA and Masters in Government and Leadership, empowers me to be an effective board team member who believes in fostering positive relationships, especially with our superintendent in providing the compass in our district’s effective operations.

I pray and humbly ask for your support and vote to allow me to serve another term in providing the protection, and voice for those who do not have one: Our precious and priceless students and your Children.

Vote Ray Matinez, LBUSD Area 7, integrity, proven incumbent leadership.

Thank you and God bless.

Dayna Valadao

As a proud product of Los Banos, I am committed to giving back to the community which has provided me with so much.  For the past 36 years, I have taught in a variety of venues and understand the needs of teachers, students and parents.   Twenty-seven of those years were spent teaching, mentoring others, and leading professional development within the Los Banos Unified School District. I am dedicated to the staff and students and believe I can further make a difference serving on our school board. I hold a BA degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from San Jose State University, as well as a Masters in Education and Administration from Stanislaus State.  Currently, I work through UC Merced as a student teacher mentor.    I am willing, eager in fact, to devote the time and energy required to serve our community as a member of this board.

I believe it is essential for a school board to perform as a cohesive unit alongside district staff and community members. Effective communication is needed to establish and maintain trust and a common focus. Providing a quality education to all children within our community will continue to be my priority.

It would be an honor to represent District 7.




The Westside Express