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More candidates coming into council races?
Redfern, Carreon, Osgood, Underwood pick up papers to run

Paula Redfern has signaled interest in joining Rosalinda Vierra in the District 2 Ceres City Council seat while John Osgood and David Carreon may be joining Daniel Martinez in pursuit of the District 4 seat.

Redfern, who is employed as a city of Modesto code enforcement officer, picked up papers on Aug. 1. Osgood and Carreon pulled papers yesterday.

Ceres City Clerk Fallon Martin reported that Todd Underwood picked up papers on Monday to run in the District 1 race against incumbent James Casey.

Underwood, if he becomes a candidate, will square off with incumbent Casey who has submitted paperwork to run for re-election. Casey was elected in a special election to fill the District 1 seat in September 2021.

The filing deadline to become a candidate is August 12. If an incumbent does not file for re-election, the deadline will move to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17.

Daniel Martinez, a member of the Ceres Planning Commission, is a verified candidate for the District 4 seat occupied by appointee Mike Kline. Kline is not running for the seat so the deadline will be extended to Aug. 17.

Osgood was nearly seated to an empty council seat in November but his appointment was rescinded before he could take office due to a firestorm of protests over controversial remarks he uttered on his podcast, Forgotten Liberty Radio. Wendy Byrd of the NAACP charged that Osgood had practiced “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.

Prospective candidates will need to contact City Clerk Fallon Martin at Ceres City Hall to pick up nomination papers.

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 is retiring from the board.

There are no candidates thus far for the Area 2 seat occupied by Welsh who 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. Council candidates thus far are Julie Ann Strain and Alan McFadon.

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 and Heckman have declared candidacies. No candidates have materialized for the Hughson Area 2 seat.

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 and are thus far unopposed.

Three full-term seats on the Keyes Community Services District board of directors are up for grabs this November. They are one vacant seat and seats occupied by directors Johnathon Parker and Ronald Reforma who have both filed to run. No candidates have filed for the short term.

Three seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District board are up for grabs. So far the openings have attracted two candidates, incumbents Dean Riddle and Shirley Martinez.

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.

The Ceres Fire Protection District board has two openings but only one candidate as of Tuesday, Robert Rensted. 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.

The Hughson Fire Protection District board of directors has three open seats – a full term and a short term. Thus far incumbent Miguel Oseguera is seeking re-election unopposed while appointed incumbent Mark Hughes is running for the short term with no opposition. If no further candidates materialize, there will be no candidates for the second full term seat.

Westport Fire Protection District has two open seats on its board of directors which have attracted the candidacies of incumbents Ed Amador and Ross Lee.

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 Members;

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