Editor's Note: The City of Gridley says Catalina Sanchez would be the first Latina on the council since as far back as 1992, when records began. Angel Calderon would be first Latino on the council in a decade. The article below has been corrected to reflect this information.
GRIDLEY, Calif. - As election results continue to come into Butte County, one election could be momentous.
Results so far on Thursday are unofficial, as not all the votes have been counted yet.
The ones who lead the way for the three available seats on the Gridley City Council are Michael Farr, Angel Calderon, and Catalina Sanchez.
If Sanchez is elected, records show she will be the first Latina elected to fill a seat since 1992, when records began.
We spoke with Sanchez about that milestone, as well as being not just a Hispanic, but also a woman running for office.
"It feels very humbling," said Sanchez. "I believe that I ran a very active campaign and I attempted to talk to as many voters. Being able to have women on any type of seat that allows our government to make decisions is very important because women do make up a large majority of not just our community, but also nationally."
"I think it's inspiring to have a woman of color, of any nationality," said Misty Deanda who is new to Gridley, and is happy to see a woman in the lead for a seat in the council. "I think that a female coming in would be interested as well."
Gridley has the highest percentage of Hispanics or Latinos in Butte County with more than 44%, according to 2019 Census data. Women are the majority at more than 53% of the total population.
"It's a reflection of the community and the growing diversity that we have not only just socially and culturally, but also economically," said Sanchez We need to be able to bring more representation to our local government especially, and I think just being able to have three Latinos who ran for the city council here in town, was really able to allow our community to have a very active conversation. What they feel that they deserve from a city council that will be able to deliver equal representation to everyone."
If elected the first thing Sanchez will try to make happen as a city councilwoman is to work toward affordable utilities.
"Are utilities affordable? What can we do to bring more businesses into this town to provide more local based jobs? And as a potential city councilwoman, I look forward to engaging with the current council and having those conversations."
Sanchez told Action News when she decided to run for office, her ethnicity wasn't what she thought would be controversial. She thought it would be being a woman.
For up-to-the-minute election results in the North State, Click Here.