(March 18) Bruce Obbink hopes to turn his California Table Grape Commission experience into political capital.

In mid-March, the former chief executive officer of the Fresno-based commission announced his candidacy for the Pacific Grove, Calif., City Council election in November.

In his more than 30 years with the grape commission, he worked to quadruple demand for California table grapes worldwide on behalf of the state’s fresh grape farmers. During this period, he attended Harvard Business School continuing education programs and served as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture trade policy advisory committee.

Obbink has been active in Pacific Grove public affairs since his retirement in 1998. In addi-tion to serving as a planning commissioner, he is a member of city’s subcommittee on secon-dary and illegal housing, a member of the subcommittee on archaeological review and chair-man of the golf course advisory committee.

“Being involved in Pacific Grove issues is a logical extension of over three decades as a chief executive officer, where I was active in local, state and national politics, devoting most of my energy to financial management, charitable work and crisis control,” Obbink said, referring to his years at the grape commission.

Obbink said he is looking forward to discussing issues that face the city with residents in Pacific Grove in the coming months.

“I believe I can bring to local government a focus on fiscal integrity while being ever mind-ful of the unique qualities of Pacific Grove,” he said.