Two new names cropped up on the roster of potential candidates for Ceres city elections a week and a half before the filing deadline of Aug. 7.
On Monday, Mohinder Singh Kanda picked up papers to run for Council District 3, the seat being vacated by Councilman Bret Durossette at year’s end. If Kanda ends up becoming an official candidate, he’ll be running against Juan P. Vazquez, Ceres Planning Commissioner Bret Silveria and Ceres business owner Brandy Meyer. The filing deadline for the seat isn’t until Aug. 12 since incumbent Councilman Bret Durossette is running for mayor and not for council re-election.
Daniel Martinez on Friday picked up papers to run for Council District 4 which is occupied by Mike Kline. Kline decided to seek a third term after losing his March primary bid to be elected to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. Others in the race are Eric Angel Gonzalez, a 22-year-old Modesto Junior College political science major; and former Ceres Planning Commissioner Couper Condit.
The race for mayor of Ceres has attracted two candidates – Councilman and teacher Bret Durossette and Central Valley High School freshman football coach Javier Lopez. Because incumbent Mayor Chris Vierra won’t be filing to run again, the deadline in that race will be extended to Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Only those residents living in their respective districts are eligible to run since the at-large system was changed a few years ago under the threat of legal action by Latino advocacy groups.
Only one person has expressed interest in running for city treasurer, a low-key job that has not attracted much interest in the past. In fact Harry Herbert has run unopposed for many elections and doesn’t want to continue serving. Sopheap Dong-Carreon, who has been an accountant with the city of Turlock for three years, pulled her candidate papers on July 14. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cal State University, Stanislaus in 2014 and her master’s degree at National University in 2019.
Because there has been little interest in the job of city treasurer, the city tried to get the voters to pass Measure X – which failed in 2018 – to have the position filled by appointment. Incumbent City Treasurer Harry Herbert desired stepping down at the end of his term in 2019 but agreed to serve another year until the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The California Government Code allows cities to have an elected or appointed city treasurer despite that most all of the city’s finances are managed by the Finance Director. The treasurer acts as an oversight, many times just providing a signature to documents.
Those intending to run for City Council District #4 or City Treasurer must file by Friday, Aug. 7. 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.
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.
• 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 seats on the Westport Fire Protection District. As of Tuesday, incumbents Stacy Cardoso and Norman E. Hyer had filed.
• One two-year seat on the Westport Fire Protection District.
• Three seats on the Riverdale Park Tract Community Services District.
• Two seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District. Student Jerry Ann Gradford was the lone candidate who filed as of Tuesday.