|Mayor of Stockton, California|
January 6, 1997 – January 2005
|Preceded by||Joan Darrah|
|Succeeded by||Edward Chavez|
Podesto went to St. Mary's High School in Stockton and graduated in 1959. He went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin later that year but left when the football team was cut. He instead went to Santa Clara University from which he graduated with a degree in economies in 1963. He briefly took evening classes at Humphreys College in 1960s.
In 1962, Podesto married Janice, whom he had met at St. Mary's High School.
After graduating from Santa Clara University, Podesto managed his father's Don Quick grocery store in Tracy, California. He opened a Food 4 Less grocery store in Stockton in 1984 and went on to open two more, employing about 400 employees and generating up to $120 million in annual retail sales.
Podesto sold his stores in 1996 and soon after declared his candidacy for mayor, spending what was then a local record of $206,000 on the campaign. He won more than two of every three votes cast and won an uncontested re-election in 2000.
In 2004, when term limits prevented him from running for mayor again, Podesto declared his candidacy for California's 5th State Senate district, seeking to oust State Senator Michael Machado. Podesto spent nearly $5 million on his bid but lost by more than 5 percent.
- "His days as mayor done, Gary Podesto leaves Stockton with". The Record. December 31, 2004. Retrieved November 20, 2016.