By Rock Earle | Casa Grande Dispatch
CG Mayor Reflects on How the Big House Reached the Big Time
Casa Grande Mayor Craig McFarland was born and mostly raised in California, though he moved around a bit as part of a Navy family. His father went to work for Anheuser-Busch after leaving the military, and he followed suit after graduating from California State University-Fresno in 1976.
During the next 26 years, he worked across its sales, distribution and marketing functions in six states, moving 10 times with his wife Nancy and their two children.
In 2005 he was hired away by Golden Eagle Distributors, which brought him and Nancy to Casa Grande. They now have five grandchildren, who live with their parents here and in Phoenix. He retired as Golden Eagle’s vice president of sales in January 2015 and almost immediately got into local politics, winning the first of his four two-year terms the next year.
Since, he’s sat on 25 local and regional boards, spearheaded efforts to widen Interstate 10, worked with others to find a long-term solution to the area’s looming water shortages — which have already hit the agricultural industry — and overseen the economic expansion that has brought Lucid Motors, a new Kohler plant, several semiconductor industry suppliers and waves of new residents, for starters.
More city amenities have come online too, most notably the Casa Grande Community Recreation Center.
I was there as Craig began his journey into local government eight years ago, and as he begins his final two years in office due to term limits I wanted to check in with him about how the city has been transformed over his tenure and what the future may hold for him.