Local Resident, Businessman John F. Smith Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Menifee

John F. Smith, a five-year resident of Menifee with volunteer experience on several political campai...

John F. Smith, a five-year resident of Menifee with volunteer experience on several political campaigns, has announced his candidacy for the office of mayor of Menifee.

Smith pulled application papers at City Hall earlier this week and is in the process of gathering the required number of signatures to be certified as a candidate for the November municipal election. All prospective candidates must submit completed paperwork by Aug. 10 in order to be certified for the election.

Smith said that as a resident of New Jersey, he worked on presidential, senate and governor election campaigns. He has not previously run for public office.

"I'm not too happy with the direction of things in the city," Smith said. "I'd like to serve the people. I'm not familiar enough with all the current issues to address them specifically, but I have some meetings scheduled and I will be able to speak to that soon."

A project manager for a San Diego-based company, Smith has an office in Perris. He lives with his wife and three children in District 2, the southwest portion of Menifee. That area is represented by Tom Fuhrman, whose council seat is not up for election this year.

"I live in a district that is not open for council election this year, and I'm not trying to unseat Tom Fuhrman," Smith said. "I am very satisfied with the role he has taken in his position."

Smith has previous career experience as a peace officer, volunteer firefighter and a mentor in youth programs. He recently completed his MBA degree in business.

Although he said he is not yet prepared to provide a platform statement, Smith said he is in favor of controlling the business development being discussed and implemented in Menifee.

"Having business here is nice, but one of the issues is that a lot of businesses are fairly new, and to bring other businesses in to compete with them is not necessarily the right thing," he said. "I think it's kind of unfair to Target that we welcomed them to town, then we invited Wal-Mart, one of their major competitors."

Update:

Following the initial interview for this story, Smith said he would like to clarify his previous statements concerning Wal-Mart and development in the city.

"I'm definitely for growth and competition," said Smith, 41. "That's what America was built on. I'm very much for a Wal-Mart coming here. My biggest concern is that there seems to be a dividing line between those who believe it will cause traffic and mayhem and those who want to bring businesses like this to our town.

"My platform is that there is a divide on this (city) council. There are two camps. I have no allies with any of that. This is the first time we'll select a mayor at large, so as mayor I could be truly impartial."