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Interest in open seats appears minimal

Only three persons to date have picked up nomination papers to run for Ceres City Council and each of those candidates could be running unopposed – unless others throw their hat in the ring.

Incumbent Ceres City Councilman James Casey is the only person to pick up papers as of yesterday for the District 1 seat. Private citizen Rosalinda Vierra is so far the only person to pull papers to run for the vacant District 2 seat vacated by Linda Ryno in April. Planning Commissioner Daniel Martinez is the only person to pull papers for the District 4 seat now occupied by Mike Kline. Kline is not seeking election.

The deadline for nomination papers to be completed and returned to become a candidate on the Nov. 8 ballot is on Friday, August 12. If an incumbent does not file to run in any given race, the candidate filing period for that office is extended to Wednesday, Aug. 17.

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.

Prospective candidates will need to contact City Clerk Fallon Martin at Ceres City Hall.

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.

As of Tuesday, Wigt and Perez were declared candidate as was trucking business owner David McConnell who is seeking the Area 6 seat occupied by Davis, who has said she won’t run again.

Welsh, who is planning to retire to Nevada, is not running again.

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). As of Tuesday, only Foss had declared a candidacy.

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. All three men have declared their candidacy to run for re-election.

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 who have both filed to run.

Two candidates have appeared thus far for the Turlock Irrigation District Division 2 seat which covers Ceres. The candidates are Wayne Zipser and farmer David J. Yonan, both Ceres residents.

In Division 3, which covers west of Highway 99 in Ceres all the way to the San Joaquin River, Joe Alamo is thus far the lone candidate.

No one is rushing to seek two open seats on the Ceres Fire Protection District board. The district is in charge of fire suppression services for the rural areas adjacent to the Ceres city limits. The small district contracts with the Modesto Fire Department for service.

Three open seats on the Hughson Fire Protection District board of directors thus far has no candidates.

Westport Fire Protection District has two open seats on its board of directors but no candidates as of yesterday.

Also in November, Ceres voters will be electing a new state Assemblyman, state senator and congressman.

In the June primary, voters in the 22nd Assembly District 22 sent Republican Juan Alanis and Democrat attorney Jessica Self to a runoff in the Nov. 8 primary election. The district includes Ceres.

In the 4th State Senate District two Democrats are headed to the Nov. 8 runoff election. They are Tim Robertson and Marie Alvarado-Gil who edged out six Republicans.

California voters will be deciding if Gavin Newsom should continue being governor for the next four years or replaced by Northern California Republican rancher and state senator Brian Dahle.

The last day to register to vote for the November election is Oct. 24.

All active registered voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the election.

County elections office will begin mailing ballots by Oct. 10.

The ballot will include:

• 7 Ballot Propositions

• Statewide candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of State Board of Equalization, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

• U.S. Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Assembly Member

• Supreme Court Justices, as well as other local candidates and local measures.