Benigno’s son Chris Benigno posted a short statement on his father’s Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 11, announcing the news.
“Last night, at 11:15, my best friend, my hero, my father fell asleep forever after battling cancer. He was an incredible man,” he wrote.
The Tracy Press learned of Benigno’s death Monday, Oct. 15, and is working to independently verify the information.
Calls to Benigno’s cellphone were not answered Monday.
Benigno recently ran an unsuccessful campaign for the office of San Joaquin County 5th District supervisor. He was eliminated from the race after finishing third during the June 5 primary.
In April, the then-75-year-old gave a spirited performance during a Tracy Press-sponsored supervisors political forum against opponents Bob Elliott and Rhodesia Ransom.
A lifetime Californian, Benigno farmed for decades in the San Joaquin Valley and had more than 55 years' experience in the retail and wholesale produce and grocery industry.
Benigno also ran for 5th District supervisor in 2008 but was defeated by Leroy Ornellas. He was unsuccessful in a 2006 campaign for the 19th Congressional District and a 2004 bid for the mayor’s seat of Tracy.