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Nov. 3 candidate deadline arrives this Friday
4 run for CUSD seats

The candidate nomination period closes on Friday for the November 7 election.

Four seats are up for grabs on the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees. So far only the incumbents have filed to run for their five-year seats.

So far, incumbents on the Ceres School Board facing election are unopposed. Mike Welsh has filed for re-election as a five-year Ceres School Board member in Trustee Area 2; Valli Wigt is a declared candidate in Trustee Area 3; Lourdes Perez in Trustee Area 5; and Betty Sue Davis in Trustee Area 6.

Also open in the Nov. 7 election are three seats on the Stanislaus County Board of Education. As of Tuesday there were no candidates for the county school board in trustee area 5, which includes portions of Ceres, Chatom, Modesto Elementary and Newman-Crows Landing areas. Bob Vizzolini occupies that seat currently. Kim Rose is the lone candidate thus far for Area 1 and Alice J. Pollard for Area 2.

Open this November are three seats on the Keyes Community Services District board, two seats on the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), three seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District board, two seats on the Riverdale CSD board, one seat on the Ceres Fire Protection District board, three seats on the Hughson Fire Protection District board, four seats on the Westport Fire Protection District board, three seats on the Turlock Irrigation District board, and four seats on the South Modesto MAC.

There are 130 positions up for election on Nov. 7. The voters of Stanislaus County will also be deciding on extending the eighth-cent sales tax for libraries in Measure S.

"We encourage citizens to learn about this applicant process and consider becoming a candidate for office," said Lee Lundrigan, Stanislaus County Clerk / Recorder / Registrar of Voters.

Candidates, including incumbents, must file nomination documents during this period in order to file for office and appear on the ballot.

Lundrigan said employees of a school district may not be sworn onto its governing board unless one resigns as an employee. If the employee does not resign, school district employment will automatically terminate upon being sworn into office.

In the Keyes Community Service District race for three seats, incumbents Eddie Jones and William Alexander are the only candidates who have filed thus far.

Incumbent Mario Amaya is the only candidate to file for a seat on the Keyes MAC, leaving no candidate for the second seat.

The Riverdale Park CSD board election for two seats has attracted four candidates in George Bixler, Rodolfo "Rudy" Caro, Linda Nunes and Duane Shugart.

As of Tuesday, no candidates had expressed interest in running for any of the three seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District.

One candidate is in the running for the single seat open on the Ceres Fire Protection District. Incumbent Robert Rensted has filed. The district covers an area outside the city of Ceres but contracts with the city of Ceres for fire suppression services.

No candidates have filed for the two five-year terms on the Hughson Fire Protection District board and none for the short term.

Edward A. Amador Jr. and Martin Avila, incumbents on the Westport Fire Protection District board, are the only candidates for the two open full-term seats while appointed incumbent Stacy Cardoso is the lone candidate for one of two short-term seats.

Three seats are up for grabs on the Turlock Irrigation District board of directors. In each of those races only the incumbents have filed as candidates. They are Division 2 Director Charles Fernandes, Division 3 Director Joe Alamo and Division 5 Director Ronald Macedo of Turlock.

No candidates had materialized as of Tuesday for the four open seats on the South Modesto MAC.

The Clerk Recorder & Registrar of Voters website is posting a daily revision of the list of candidates who file their nomination documents with the County Registrar of Voters official. This unofficial list can be viewed at under "Candidates/measures."

The November election will include municipal elections for the city of Modesto as well as various school and special districts.

Originally the Ceres City Council races were scheduled to take place in November. However, in January the council elongated the terms of Linda Ryno and Ken Lane to align their ending with the gubernatorial election in 2018. The action was to comply with a new state law seeking to increase voter participation. SB 415, passed by the Legislature and signed into law on Sept. 1, 2015 by Gov. Jerry Brown, is designed to get municipal elections away from "off year" election cycles, in other words, when not packaged with an election for governor or president. State lawmakers have noted that many voters won't turn out to vote if only local races are on the ballot so the law requires cities to come up with a transition plan by Jan. 1, 2018 and implemented by November 2022. Ceres wasted no time in complying.

The seats of Mayor Chris Vierra and Councilmembers Bret Durossette and Mike Kline were set to expire November 2019, which is considered an off-year for elections. Adding a year to their terms mean they would be before voters in November 2020, which will is a presidential election year.

Lundrigan encourages voters interested in becoming candidates to stop by the County Clerk-Recorder/ Elections Office at 1021 "I" Street, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in downtown Modesto, or to telephone the office at 525-5200, or 525-5230 for assistance in Spanish. More information is available on the Elections Office web site at