The list of verified city council candidates has grown as the filing deadline draws concludes for many races on Friday.
Councilman and Ceres High School teacher Bret Durossette and Central Valley High School freshman football coach Javier Lopez are both verified candidates for mayor of Ceres. Because incumbent Mayor Chris Vierra won’t be filing to run again, the deadline in that race will be extended to Wednesday, Aug. 12.
In the Ceres City Council District 3, verified candidates as of Monday were Ceres Planning Commissioner Bret Silveria, Juan P. Vazquez and Mohinder Singh Kanda. Expected to become a verified candidate for the seat is Ceres business owner Brandy Meyer, who picked up papers on July 14.
Because the Council District 3 seat is being vacated by Councilman Bret Durossette at year’s end to run for mayor, the filing deadline will be extended to Wednesday, Aug. 12.
In District 4 of the Ceres City Council, three of four candidates who picked up papers are now verified candidates. They are incumbent Councilman Mike Kline, former Ceres Planning Commissioner Couper Condit and Daniel Martinez. Eric Angel Gonzalez, a 22-year-old Modesto Junior College political science major, had not turned in the forms and required number of registered voters as of Tuesday.
Martinez, who has lived in and out of Ceres most of his life, said he’s running to get more involved in his community and “help bring a change.”
“I see a lot of issues that are continuing to grow that have been issues for years now that haven’t really changed,” said Martinez. He said he doesn’t see Ceres growing businesses like in Modesto and Turlock.
“There’s no real reason to want to be in Ceres; if you want to go on a date or take your children to do something fun that involves going to Turlock or going to Modesto. I would like to get a part of the council and help fix that issue.”
Martinez is employed as a quality auditor for SunOpta Aseptic on Mariposa Road north of Ceres. He has coached Ceres Youth Baseball and volunteered at Ceres Pups wrestling tournaments.
A new candidate cropped up for the city treasurer race. Kayla Martinez pulled candidate papers on Thursday. Sopheap Dong-Carreon pulled papers on July 14. Neither has returned their papers to be verified candidates but have until Aug. 12 to do so.
Nobody becomes an official candidate until their papers are returned filled out as the law requires and completed. Candidates must obtain and fill out nomination papers with the signatures of between 20 and 30 signatures of registered voters living within their district. Candidates are advised to get more than 20 signatures in case a “nominator” turns out to not be a registered voter. The city clerk handles nomination papers for city offices.
The Nov. 3 election not only decides who will be the next president of the United States, but local voters will be deciding on a new Supervisor for District 5. Incumbent Supervisor voter Jim DeMartini is retiring to move to Nevada when he steps down at the end of the year. Candidates are Ceres City Councilman Channce Condit and Ceres City Attorney Tom Hallinan.
District 2 Supervisor Vito Chiesa of Hughson, who represents Hughson, Keyes, Turlock and La Grange, is unopposed for re-election.
Congressman Josh Harder, D-Turlock, will be defending his seat in the 10th Congressional District against Republican Ted Howze of Turlock. Harder, who defeated Republican Rep. Jeff Denham in November 2018, is seeking his second two-year term.
Hughson voters will be deciding on two new City Council members and a mayor. Voters there will also be asked if the office of mayor should be a four-year term when decide on Measure V.
As of Tuesday, incumbent Hughson Mayor Jeramy Young had pulled papers to run for re-election; while incumbents Ramon Bawanan and Michael Buck and challenger Sam Rush pulled papers to run for Hughson City Council. As of Monday, Bawanan and Buck were verified to be on the ballot.
Voters in the Hughson Fire Protection District are being asked to pass Measure W which would enact a special property tax to fund fire and emergency medical response. The measure needs to achieve a two-third majority for passage and would levy an annual 12-year tax, including $39.75/residential unit, raising approximately $167,000 per year, to acquire lifesaving equipment and emergency vehicles/apparatus, and to fund improvements to the fire station.
Other local races include:
• Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Office #5. Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne and Superior Court Commissioner Kenneth Hara are facing in a runoff from the March primary.
• Trustee Area #1 and #3 seats on the Hughson Unified School District board of trustees. There were no candidates as of Monday.
• The Keyes Union School District Trustee Area #1 seat. Jeffrey P. Greener, the appointed incumbent, has filed for re-election.
• The Area #4 seat on the Keyes Union School District board. Incumbent Trustee Harinder Grewal is being challenged by Mike Bernal, a campus safety officer.
• Two seats on the rural Ceres Fire Protection District. Appointed incumbent Gary Marchy was the only candidate who filed as of Tuesday.
• Three seats on the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council. Only William Alexander had filed as of Tuesday;
• Two seats on the South Modesto Municipal Advisory Council;
• Three four-year seats on the Westport Fire Protection District. As of Tuesday, incumbents Stacy Cardoso, Norman E. Hyer and John A. Varni had filed.
• A two-year seat on the Westport Fire Protection District has attracted one candidate, attorney Ross W. Lee.
• Three seats on the Riverdale Park Tract Community Services District.
• Two seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District have attracted three candidates. They are incumbents Francisco J. Diaz and Susan Stransky and student Jerry Ann Gradford.
City Council and mayoral candidates must contact the City Clerk for papers and the return of them once filled out. Those wishing to run for other local offices need to contact the County Clerk-Recorder/Elections Office to make an appointment to file nomination documents to become a candidate for one of the vacant offices. Office hours are 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and may be reached at 525-5201.