Two municipal races still open to candidates

Ceres Councilman James Casey is vying for his seat in District 1 this fall with candidates missing the Friday deadline to vote.

Casey is challenged by Todd Underwood.

Meanwhile, the application deadlines have been extended until today for the other two open seats on the board since the incumbents have not filed.

In the District 2 City Council race, Paula Redfern and Rosalinda Vierra are verified candidates while Robert Gobble has pulled out papers to run as well. He must submit his application documents by today to become a candidate. The filing deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. today as the seat is vacant and has no incumbent.

In the District 4 council race, Daniel Martinez was confirmed as the candidate on Tuesday. John Osgood submitted his papers to run yesterday and the Elections Office is checking signatures on his petition. David Carreon released articles on August 9 but had not yet submitted them when the Courier went to press.

Redfern has been planning a run for the council for three years, but a death in the family has delayed his candidacy.

“My thinking was that once Linda Ryno decided not to run again, I was going to run for office,” said Redfern, who noted that she and Ryno shared similar views on eradicating more Strict burn and code enforcement.

Redfern has resided on Ceres her entire life, except for the three years when she moved in her twenties.

“I care about what happens to our town,” said Redfern, whose work experience has included 9½ years as a security guard at Ceres High School, community service officer with Ceres Police and code enforcement officer at Ceres, Hughson. , Waterford, Merced County and now Modesto.

Redfern wants to see enforcement of the code strengthened in Ceres, saying it’s an important issue for all residents of Ceres. She also wants to see more development on the west side of Ceres.

“We don’t even have bike lanes on Service Road and Morgan Road for all the kids who go to Central Valley Secondary School. Bike lanes would help.

Underwood, 43, will face incumbent Casey who is seeking re-election. Casey was elected in a special election to fill the District 1 seat in September 2021.

Raised in Ceres and a veteran of the military, Underwood said his candidacy stemmed not from dissatisfaction with the way Ceres was governed, but rather from a desire to get involved in government. However, he fears that Ceres will become like other cities with lesser living conditions.

“I’m an ex-military man so why sit on your ass and complain when we’re Americans, we were given the right to stand up so that’s one of the reasons I’m running,” said Underwood. “If you want to get into politics, you have to start somewhere.”

Underwood is currently a telecommunications installer working in the Bay Area.

“What better place to learn how to enter politics than Ceres. It’s a great city…and a great place to raise a family and most of us would like it to remain a great place.

Casey has lived in Ceres since 1974 and has owned and operated Casey Moving Systems in Ceres since 1995. A veteran of the Army from 1968 to 1971, Casey was elected to the Ceres City Council on August 31, 2021 to fill the vacancy left by the resignation by Chance Condition.

Ceres Planning Commission member Daniel Martinez is a verified candidate for the District 4 seat held by appointee Mike Kline. Kline is not showing up for the seat, so the deadline will be extended to August 17.

Osgood was nominated by the council to an empty council seat in November, but was overruled before he could take office due to a storm of protests over controversial remarks he made on his podcast , Forgotten Liberty Radio. Wendy Byrd of the NAACP accused Osgood of practicing “hate, bigotry, misogyny, and racist terminology that makes specific ethnic and gender groups feel belittled”.

Two races for the Ceres Unified School District are closed and two remain open until today.

The terms of Mike Welsh (admin area 2), Valli Wigt (admin area 3), Lourdes Perez (admin area 5) and Betty Davis (admin area 6) all expire this year.

Real estate agent Cynthia Ruiz is so far the only candidate for the Trustee Zone 2 seat held by Mike Welsh. Welsh plans to leave California for Nevada and no longer shows up.

In trust area 3, Wigt has a challenger in Mariah Jaquez who is an administrative assistant and student.

School board administrator Lourdes Perez is the only candidate for administration area 5 with the nomination period over.

Trucking company owner David McConnell is so far the only candidate interested in taking over from Davis who is stepping down as the Area 6 headquarters.

Board of Trustees maps can be viewed online by visiting the website, clicking on the Board of Trustees tab at the top, then Trustee District Information, then Trustee District Assignment Information.

In the town of Hughson, Mayor George Carr’s two-year term is up for grabs, as are the council seats of Michael Buck and Harold Hill. The nominees for the Council so far are Carr, Julie Ann Strain and Alan McFadon. Tyrel Voss and Randy Crooker picked up papers to run for council.

Three seats are opening in the Hughson Unified School District. Holders Randee Harcrow (Zone 2), Randy Heckman (Zone 4) and Mark Foss (Zone 5) all show up unopposed.

The three incumbents on the Keyes Union School District Board of Trustees are running unopposed. They are: Jimmy Emmons Sr. (Zone 2), Jeff Reed (Zone 3) and Wesley A. Greene (Zone 5).

Three term seats on the Keyes Community Services District Board of Directors are up for grabs in November. They are pursued by directors Johnathon Parker, Ronald Reforma and Michelle Bernal. No candidate has filed for the short term.

Three seats on the Monterey Park Tract Community Service District Board of Directors are up for grabs. Guaranteed seats will go to incumbents Dean Riddle, Shirley Martinez and Bettie J. Yelder.

The Ceres Fire Protection District Board of Directors has two openings but only one candidate, farmer 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 the service. The short term has no candidates.

The Hughson Fire Protection District Board of Directors has three vacancies – one full term and one short term. Incumbents Miguel Oseguera and Gus Villarreal are seeking re-election unopposed while nominated incumbent Mark Hughes is running unopposed at short notice.

So far, two candidates have stood for the Division 2 seat of the Turlock Irrigation District, which covers Ceres. The candidates are Wayne Zipser and farmer David J. Yonan, both residents of Ceres.

In Division 3, which covers Highway 99 west in Ceres to the San Joaquin River, Joe Alamo is the only candidate so far.

Westport Fire Protection District has two vacant seats on its board which have attracted nominations from incumbents Ed Amador and Ross Lee.

Also in November, Ceres voters will elect a new state assemblyman, state senator and congressman.

In the June primary, voters in the 22nd Assembly District 22 sent Republican Juan Alanis and Democratic attorney Jessica Self to a runoff in the Nov. 8 primary election. The district includes Ceres.

In the state’s 4th Senate District, two Democrats are heading into the runoff in the Nov. 8 election. It was Tim Robertson and Marie Alvarado-Gil who edged out six Republicans.

California voters will decide whether Gavin Newsom should continue as governor for the next four years or be replaced by Northern California Republican rancher and state senator Brian Dahle.

The last day to register to vote for the November elections is October 24.

All active registered voters will receive an absentee ballot for the election.

The County Elections Office will begin mailing out ballots by Oct. 10. The ballot will include:

• 7 voting proposals;

• Statewide candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Member of the State Board of Equalization, Superintendent of state education;

• US Representative to Congress, State Senator, Members of the State Assembly;

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

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