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Fall candidate season begins next month
• Nomination period open July 18-Aug. 12

The election for three seats on the Ceres City Council is four-and-a-half months away but some residents have already indicated they plan to run as the nomination looms in sight.

The filing period begins July 18 and ends on August 12 in order for a candidate’s name to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot. If the incumbent does not file to run, the candidate filing period for that office is extended to Wednesday, Aug. 17.

The District 1 seat now occupied by James “Jim” Casey is up for grabs as is the District 2 seat vacated by Linda Ryno on April 11. The council decided to leave Ryno’s seat vacant, citing that voters would have a choice fairly soon in November.

Casey was elected in a special election held last August to serve out the unexpired term of Channce Condit, who resigned midway into his four-year term after winning a seat on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.

The District 4 seat occupied by appointed incumbent Mike Kline is also up for a vote. Kline, who agreed to accept an appointment when it was extended to him after the surprise resignation of Couper Condit eight months into his four-year term, said he won’t run for the seat. Whoever is elected to the seat will only serve out the remaining two years of the term.

Rosalinda Vierra, a member of the Measure H Oversight Committee, has a “Rosalinda Vierra for City of Ceres District 2” Facebook page.

Planning Commission member Daniel Martinez is planning a run for the District 4 seat and has 642 followers on his “Daniel A. Martinez for Ceres City Council” Facebook page.

John R. Osgood III has mentioned running for District 4. Last November Osgood had been appointed to fill the District 4 vacancy but the appointment was rescinded before he could be seated. The council did the about-face after a firestorm of criticism from both the Ceres Courier and Modesto Bee which cited Osgood’s controversial statements made on his Forgotten Liberty Radio podcast. Wendy Byrd, an official with the NAACP, called the council’s attention to Osgood as one who practices “hatred, bigotry, misogyny and racist terminology which makes specific ethnic and gender groups feel demeaned.” 

To qualify as a candidate for Ceres City Council, one must reside within the Ceres city limits, and be a registered voter in the district they are running in. Candidates must pick up nomination papers, which must be signed by no less than 20 and no more than 30 signatures of registered voters living within the city limits. Candidates are advised to get a few more than 20 signatures in case the county finds out that “nominators” are actually not registered voters. The city clerk handles the process nomination papers but the county conducts the election.

The terms of Mayor Javier Lopez and Vice Mayor Bret Silveira are not up until November 2024, which will be the next presidential election.

Voters of the Ceres Unified School District will be electing four members to its Board of Trustees. The terms of Mike Welsh (Trustee Area 2), Valli Wigt (Trustee Area 3), Lourdes Perez (Trustee Area 5)and  Betty Davis (Trustee Area 6) all expire this year.

Trustee area maps are available for viewing online by visiting the website, clicking on the Board of Trustees tab at the top, then on Trustee District Information, then on Trustee District Assignment Information.

In the city of Hughson, the two-year term of Mayor George Carr is up for grabs as are the council seats of Michael Buck and Harold Hill.

Three seats are opening on the Hughson Unified School District. They are occupied by Randee Harcrow (Area 2), Randy Heckman (Area 4) and Mark Foss (Area 5).

Voters in the Keyes Union School District will be voting on three board members. The terms of Jimmy Emmons Sr. (Area 2), Jeff Reed (Area 3) and Wesley A. Greene (Area 5) all expire at the end of the year.

In the Keyes Community Services District, three seats will be before voters. They are one vacant seat and seats occupied by directors Johnathon Parker and Ronald Reforma.

Ceres council districts for election
This map of Ceres shows where the new Ceres City Council district boundary lines are drawn. The seats for districts 1, 2 and 4 will be filled by the voters in November. District 3 will not be open until 2024.