Gary Podesto was the Republican Mayor of Stockton who ran and lost against incumbent Democrat Mike Machado in a 2004 State Senate race. The race was the most expensive state legislative contest in United States history. Podesto raised $4.64 million, Machado $4.48 million. Also outside groups like Planned Parenthood and the California Farm Bureau added about $1 million which raised the grand total of the race to over $10 million. Even U.S Senate campaigns rarely reach $10 million, but a combination of a massive State Senate district and a lack of competitive seats around the state contributed to this astronomical fundraising figure. Both candidates heavily played up their ties to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, while mutually accusing each other of water use mismanagement.

The Davis College Republicans served as Podesto's loyal grassroots foot soldiers in Yolo County by walking precincts on a weekly basis and attending campaign events. They were even exported to walk precincts in more competitive areas of the 5th district (Solano and San Joaquin Counties).

The heavily Democratic city of Davis was key to Machado's victory, having been redrawn into the contested 5th district since the last election.

At the time of the race, Davis was inundated daily with campaign literature and advertisements. The most memorable of these included rather bizarre television commercials featuring Gary Podesto, one in which he was the sheriff of a town in the Wild West.

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If I'm not mistaken, Gary Podesto's campaign statements seemed to suggest that he wanted to make all of this senatorial district "all American" like Stockton. I think all non-Stockton places are VERY happy they're not Stockton. It's sad Mike Machado only won by a little. Just goes to show what a well orchestrated smear-campaign can do. Machado actually went to my house to ask us to vote for him. I'm not sure what the strategy was in visiting solid-Democrat Davis was, but maybe his internal polling showed Davisites as being duped into voting for creepy Podesto. - jr

2004-12-13 08:46:17   This page isn't linked to anything and seems a little unnecessary to me. - JackHaskel

2004-12-13 08:59:27   Currently there is not much on local politics or politicians, hence no links to this page. However, this pertains to the state senate representative of Davis so I think it is relevant. - JamesDawe

2005-01-29 00:03:20   The commercial of Gary Podesto as sheriff in the wild west made it look like he wasn't with the time. Living in Stockton, I don't like seeing urban growth like we've been seeing. After seeing the all the commercials each was bashing each other, I ended up not voting for either one. A total disgrace even though I don't care for Machado anymore. His office ignored my pleas for help with the worker's comp bill and all he does is send me a 3 page letter explaining his views. Like that's suppose to make my herniated disc do away. F*** THEM ALL! —JohnathanSmith

2005-01-29 15:36:36   Well, here's the thing— Podesto was heavily endorsed by Arnold. I have no idea why the food4less founder and the Austrian oak are so tight, but they are. Maybe Arnold just hates Machado. BUT that Sheriff commercial also got under my skin. I mean, it looked like Podesto was trying to do what Arnold did—except in reverse. Win an election by acting like a movie star, rather than win an election as a movie-star who acts like a politician. Weird. —JaimeRaba

2005-04-22 15:34:25   Machado is a huge opponent of Arnie in the legislature. And I agree with jack, this page has nothing to do with Davis other than at one point this guy MIGHT have represented us. The fact that DCR helped out still does not count for relevance. —JimSchwab

2005-09-27 14:52:46   Yeah, it was mostly just relevant back around the elections. But, on the other hand, it's a nice time capsule. I mean, really, I don't think the wiki-universe is too offended by "irrelevance." Might be interesting someday. —JaimeRaba

2005-09-28 03:08:05   there's also some awful grocery store he owns —MichelleAccurso