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Voters to decide on three council seats
nov 8 2022 candidates Ceres City Council
These are the candidates running for the various open seats on the Ceres City Council in the Nov. 8 election.

The election will be over in less than a week, determining who will be sitting in three seats on the Ceres City Council for the next four years.

Many voters have already returned their ballots but others who are waiting until Election Day will have to deposit them at the post office by Tuesday, Nov. 8 or drop them off at an indoor ballot drop box, including:

•  Ceres City Hall, 2220 Magnolia Avenue, which closes at 5 p.m. on Election Day.

• Save Mart, 2920 Whitmore Avenue.

• The Ceres American Legion Memorial Building, 2609 Lawrence Street.

The Save Mart drop box and Ceres American Legion Hall’s Vote Center will accept ballots up to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The races for three Ceres City Council seats have attracted a total of seven candidates.

In the Ceres City Council District 1 race, incumbent Councilman James Casey and Todd Underwood are in competition.

Casey was elected in a special election to fill the District 1 seat on August 31, 2021 to fill the remainder of the term of Channce Condit, who resigned to become a county supervisor. Casey has lived in Ceres since 1974 and has owned and operated Casey Moving Systems in Ceres since 1995. 

Underwood, 43, a telecommunications installer working in the Bay Area, wanted to get involved in politics and decided to seek Casey’s seat.

The District 2 City Council race has Paula Redfern and Rosalinda Vierra going head to head. The seat has been vacant since the sudden resignation of Linda Ryno in March.

Vierra serves on the Measure H Citizens Oversight Committee and the Stanislaus County Economic Development Action Committee. Vierra moved to Ceres in 2002 from Modesto after she began working for Bronco Winery. She has owned a small business in Ceres since 2012.

A lifelong resident of Ceres except for the three years she moved away in her twenties, Paula Redfern is a code enforcement officer with the city of Modesto. She spent 9-1/2 years as a security officer at Ceres High School, a Community Service Officer with Ceres Police, and code enforcement officer for the cities of Ceres, Hughson, Waterford, Modesto and Merced County. 

David Carreon, Daniel Martinez and John R. Osgood III are seeking to replace appointed Councilman Mike Kline in District 4.

Martinez, 34, has been a member of the Ceres Planning Commission since last year. He previously ran for City Council in 2020, a race that went to Couper Condit. Martinez earned associate degrees in Communications, in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Language and Rational, all from Modesto Junior College. He is employed as a quality auditor for SunOpta Aseptic in Modesto.

His first try at politics, David Carreon, 38, is a lifelong Ceres resident who has been employed in warehouse distribution for the past 12 years. He also runs a small T-shirt imprinting business in his spare time. He is the father of two boys, aged 2 and 5.

Osgood has not responded to the Courier’s request for information. He is involved in the trucking business and frequently attends council meetings.

In November the council had tapped Osgood, now 46, to fill an empty council seat but rescinded that appointment on the evening he was to be sworn into office due to protests over controversial remarks he made at past meetings and on his podcast, Forgotten Liberty Radio. Wendy Byrd of the NAACP publicly charged that Osgood had used “hatred, bigotry, misogyny and racist terminology” and concluded “that he still lacks the temperament, cultural sensitivity, character and political judgment to be in a position of authority.”

The seat was later given to Mike Kline.

CUSD races

Three of the four open seats on the Ceres Unified School District had candidates with no opponents and will be appointed instead of appearing on the ballot.

Real estate agent Cynthia Ruiz was the lone candidate for the Trustee Area 2 seat now occupied by Mike Welsh.

Incumbent CUSD board member Lourdes Perez was also unopposed in her re-election bid for Trustee Area 5.

Trucking business owner David McConnell, 62, faced no challenge as he automatically takes the Trustee Area 6 seat. Incumbent Betty Davis is retiring from the seat.

In Trustee Area 3, Valli Wigt has a challenger in Mariah Jaquez who is an administrative assistant and student.