Guam – Born in California to Chamorro parents J. Santos is now Mayor of the Northern California town of Lathrop.
Santos, better known as “Chaka” won last week’s elections in the town beating two time incumbent Kristy Sayles by 5% of the vote.
Santos spent several years living on Guam while his father was station here in the Navy.
Santos owns Chaka’s MMM Sauce, a marinade company in California, and he credits Chamorro culture and the years he spent on Guam during his youth for his success.
“If it wasn’t for my culture I wouldn’t be in the market,” Santos explained. “My product is derived from the island of Guam. If it wasn’t for my culture I wouldn’t be where I am at now.”
Santos plans to use his knowledge from owning a business to help bring jobs to his community of 17,500 residents. He says beating a two-time incumbent was tough but he hopes that will inspire others from Guam no matter where they are now.
“I did it because I was told it can’t be done,” says Santos. “If you told those young kids out there… when I come out there it can be done. I’ll come out there as the Mayor of Lathrop.”
Santos has lived in Lathrop for 15 years.