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County issues calendar for candidates
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Interested in running for Ceres City Council this year? Perhaps for the Ceres Unified School District board of trustees? If so, County Elections chief Lee Lundrigan has issued a timetable that is crucial for prospective candidates in the Nov. 5 election a little over nine months away.

Lundrigan encourages voters interested in becoming candidates to review the calendar of key campaign and election dates and stop by the County Clerk-Recorder/ Elections Office at 1021 "I" Street, Room 101, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays in downtown Modesto. The Registrar of Voters telephone number is 525-5200, or 525-5230 for assistance in Spanish. The county's calendar of important election dates for the election is now available at www.stanvote.

Candidate nominations take place from July 15 to Aug. 9. Those are the dates that would-be candidates must secure signatures of registered voters on nomination forms to be declared a candidate on the ballot.

Those running office must fill out various forms and file regular reports in order to legally raise and spend campaign funds.

Two seats on the Ceres City Council are up for grabs this year: those of Ken Lane and Eric Ingwerson. Lane has indicated that he intends to seek re-election but Ingwerson is weighing options to pass on a campaign.

On the Ceres School Board, the seats of trustees Mike Welsh, Valli Wigt, Lourdes Perez and Betty Davis all expire this year. Candidates may only run for a seat in their trustee area, determined by where they reside.

The terms of School Board trustees Jim Kinard, Faye Lane and Teresa Guerrero all expire in 2015.

Davis and Guerrero currently sit in the last at-large districts. CUSD decided to create trustee areas in response to the threat of a legal challenge about the fairness of the at-large district. A Latino group said the at-large districts unfairly created a disadvantage for minority candidates to be elected.

Currently, Davis and Guerrero are considered from at-large seats. However, there will no longer be at-large elections in the future. Assuming that Davis chooses to run again, she would run for Trustee District #6. Guerrero would run for Trustee District #7 in 2015.

Welsh represents Trustee Area #2. Wigt represents Trustee Area #3. Perez sits in the seat representing Trustee Area #5.

There are no city elections in Hughson this year. However, the seats of Hughson Unified School District board trustees Randy Heckman, Cindy Cunningham-Gipp and Rick Applegate are all up for grabs this year.

In Keyes, seats are available for candidacies on the Keyes Union School District board since the terms of Antonio Aguilar, Jimmy Emmons Sr., and Jeff Reed will be expiring at year's end.

Also in Keyes, three seats are expiring on the Keyes Community Services District board. The terms of Davie Landers Jr., Johnathon Parker and Henry Benavides all expire this year. The KCSD provides sewer and water services to the residents and businesses in Keyes.

Two seats on the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council also expire. Karen Poppen's term ends as does that of Harinder Grewal. The MAC acts as a "city council" for unincorporated Keyes but can take no action other than make recommendations to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. The county supplies most of the services to Keyes.

The Turlock Irrigation District, which supplies electrical and irrigation services to the Ceres, Keyes and Hughson area, has several open board seats. Division 2 director Charlie Fernandes represents the Ceres area and his seat is up for election.

Westport Fire Protection District will see an election for two board director seats: those of Martin Avila and Edward Amador.

Hughson residents may run for two open seats on the Hughson Fire Protection District board. The terms of Gus Villarreal and Raymond Camagna expire this year.

Some areas of rural Ceres are covered in fire services by the Ceres Fire Protection District, which governed by a three-seat board. The directorship term of Robert Rensted ends this year while Harlen E. Smith and Jerry Hancock serve until 2015.

The Monterey Park Tract, a small rural neighborhood located southwest of Ceres, is governed by a Community Services District. It too has an elected board. This year the terms of Grady Lee Jordan Sr. and Bettie J. Yelder expire as does a vacant seat. Only residents of that special district may become candidates for the special board.

Likewise, the Riverdale Park neighborhood along the south bank of the Tuolumne River in south Modesto, is governed by a community services district. On that board the terms of Timi Lynn Horn and a vacant seat expire. Only those living in that special district may run for those offices.