Watts’ political baggage

When Anthony Watts announced his candidacy for Butte County’s 3rd District Supervisor seat this week, the presence of those on hand to show their support probably says more about the political direction of Watts’ candidacy than the words he spoke.

Watts has on his side former Butte County Sheriff Mick Grey, whose career is best remembered for guard-orchestrated inmate beatings in the county jail that cost the county plenty in a court settlements and an extra-marital affair made public when the woman involved sued Grey; unscrupulous 5th District Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi, who four years ago infamously tried to implement Plan 5, which would have redrawn the supervisor districts in order to oust the only two moderates on the board; and anti-government City Councilmember Larry Wahl who doesn’t mind spending money for pet projects but refuses to vote for the revenues to pay for them.

Others behind Watts during his announcement included Tim Colby, foreman of the recently dismissed Grand Jury, whose controversial report left many in the county scratching their heads and/or biting their nails in fear of retribution (oddly, the report criticized the Chico Unified School Board trustees, including Watts, who voted to oust junior high principal Jeff Sloan in one of the weirdest reality soap operas this town has ever witnessed) and Republican activist Jim Ledgerwood.

Standing to the side, if not directly behind Watts, were banker and former Councilmember Mark Francis and his banker wife—ex-Planning Commissioner Jolene Francis—both stalwart conservatives.

Judging by Watt’s lineup of support, it’s clear from the get-go that he’s running from the right wing to try to replace the moderate Republican Mary Anne Houx, who has already endorsed City Councilmember Maureen Kirk for the job.