Frank Bigelow has held many positions in his life: Volunteer firefighter, rancher, vice president of a telephone company, and county supervisor. Now, as a Republican candidate, he hopes to add assemblyman to his resume.
Bigelow, who paints a portrait of a rancher with his signature cowboy hat and mustache, has been on Madera’s Board of Supervisors for four terms. During that time, he’s noticed that the Legislature is not doing much to help local governments do their jobs.
“I’m tired of the can being kicked down the road by the legislators, putting it on the backs of the local governments,” he said.
He also hopes to draw on his experience from being on numerous committees and boards, from the Madera District Fair Board to being president of the California State Association of Counties and serving on the Regional Council for Rural Counties, representing all 58 counties and all residents of California, he said.
The problem, he said, is that the big governments “don’t know how to connect the dots, they don’t understand the nuts and bolts” of local governments.
Bigelow, owner of Bigelow Farms, said he would much rather play with his two granddaughters than be in the Capitol, but sees it as a necessity. His reasons to go include the loss of traditional family values and a “lack of a brighter future” for his children and grandchildren. He also finds it nearly impossible to build a shop on his farm with the building requirements that have been put in place, but that he can’t complain unless he speaks out for and represents all the people of the state.
The volunteer firefighter, who calls himself a “true volunteer” after giving nearly 40 years of his time to his local fire station, has also held a second job alongside being a rancher. Following in the tradition of his great-grandfather, Bigelow works for Ponderosa Telephone Co. — once Bigelow Telephone Co. — and worked his way up to being vice president.
Having been in both government and private sectors, Bigelow said he is familiar with the pitfalls and challenges of both, having been taught well in his crafts and given the tools to work with others.