GUSTINE - The filing period for local elections on the November ballot is continuing, with races drawing various degrees of candidate interest.
Little more than one week remains in the filing period - although some races may be extended if eligible incumbents do not file for re-election.
While a number of candidates or potential candidates stepped forward last week, no local race had drawn enough finalized candidates as of Tuesday afternoon to require a contested election when voters go to the polls this fall.
Two prospective candidates have taken out papers for more than one race, according to the Merced County elections website.
Andrew Bloom pulled nomination papers for the Area 4 seat on the Gustine Unified School District Board of Trustees. Bloom also took out papers to seek election to the Division 2 seat he currently holds on the Central California Irrigation District Board of Directors.
Former Gustine Mayor Dennis Brazil has taken out papers to run for a Gustine City Council seat as well papers for the Area 3 seat on the Gustine school board.
Earlier this week, the Merced County Elections Office clarified information previously provided to Mattos Newspapers on candidates seeking election to multiple offices.
Barbara Levey, registrar of voters, said that a candidate can run for more than one seat in the same election as long as no more than one of the positions involved requires the filing of nomination signatures to run.
School board races do not require nomination signatures, Levey said by way of example, while city races do.
Levey said that in the event an individual wins election to multiple seats, or is elected to a seat while already holding another elected office, any questions of incompatibility of office would be addressed following the election and ruled upon by the state attorney general.
In the case of Brazil, he told Mattos Newspapers Tuesday that he has not yet decided whether to seek the school board seat or a council seat but will run for no more than one. Serving on both would be incompatible, he indicated. Past attorney general opinions supported that interpretation.
But Brazil could still face a review of compatibility if he wins either a city or school seat because he also serves on the board which oversees West Side Community Ambulance. Brazil previously told Mattos Newspapers that he would not seek any seat which jeopardized his ability to continue on the ambulance board.
Bloom said he intends to run for both the CCID and school board seats for which he has taken out papers.
Brazil and Bloom each told Mattos Newspapers that they have received legal guidance indicating that the offices they seek are not incompatible.
Under the process outlined by Levey, however, a final determination would rest with the state attorney general’s office following the election, if needed.
Following are local election filings as of Tuesday afternoon.
Three school board seats are on the November ballot. Each race has one declared candidate - and in two of the three a second potential candidate has signaled interest.
Area 4 incumbent Loretta Rose has filed to seek re-election, the seat for which Bloom has also taken out papers.
Zachery Ramos has filed to run for the Area 3 board seat currently held by Pat Rocha, who announced that she will not seek re-election. That was one of the two seats for which Brazil has taken out papers.
Kevin Cordeiro, the incumbent representing Area 2 on the board, has filed to seek re-election.
City of Gustine
Incumbent Mayor Patrick Nagy, first elected to the city’s leadership post two years ago, has filed to formalize his re-election bid.
The council seats currently held by Craig Turner and Joe Oliveira are also up for election. Each has said they were undecided about running for re-election, and neither had taken out papers as of Tuesday. Brazil is the only potential council candidate to have emerged midway through the filing period.
Santa Nella County Water
Three seats on the Santa Nella County Water District are on the November ballot, those held by incumbents Stephen Landry, Peter Silvas and Virginia Gillmore. Four potential candidates have emerged.
Landry, Wayne Tallman, Susan Walker and Michael Fairbanks have taken out papers to run but none had filed as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the Merced County Elections Office website.
West Side Healthcare District
Four seats on the board which oversees West Side Community Ambulance are on the November ballot.
As of Tuesday, candidates had stepped forward for three.
Appointed incumbent David Varnell has filed to run for the Zone 5 (rural Gustine) seat which he currently holds.
George Schmidt, a former ambulance board member, filed to run for the currently vacant Zone 2 (Newman city) seat.
Kenneth Helms is running for the Zone 3 seat (referred to as Stevinson but which includes a portion of Newman). The Zone 3 seat is currently held by appointee Charles Tanner, who is not eligible to run for the position he now holds because he does not live within the zone.
No candidates had emerged for the vacant Zone 1 (rural Newman) seat on the ambulance board.
The Stanislaus County website (Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, shared) reflects candidates who have completed the filing process, not those who have only taken out papers.
Central California Irrigation District
Bloom as of Monday was the only candidate to have taken out papers for the Division 2 seat which he currently holds.
The filing period continues through Friday, Aug. 7. For races in which an incumbent does not file, the nomination period is extended to Wednesday, Aug. 12. Incumbents cannot file after the initial deadline. The filing period does not extend in races for which there is no incumbent eligible for election.
Candidates for Gustine and Santa Nella seats may file with the Merced County Elections Office.
Information about the filing process can be found in a candidate portal on the Merced County Elections Office website. Necessary paperwork may be acquired and submitted through the portal, but an in-person visit (by appointment only) is required to finalize the process. Call 385-7541 for additional information.
Candidates interested in the Zone 1 (rural Newman) or Zone 2 (Newman city) ambulance board seats may file with Stanislaus County Elections. Those interested in running for the Zone 3 seat (Stevinson) may file in either county.