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WANTED: A few good candidates

Field slim for Nov. 8 election

POSTED August 9, 2011 9:07 p.m.

Loren R. Holt, a decade-long member of the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees, announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in the Nov. 8 election.

“The time has come to step aside so as to allow another member of the Turlock community the opportunity to serve the Turlock Unified School District,” Holt said in a statement. “... I have full faith that the next board will work together with district administration to continue the legacy that previous boards set.”

Five seats on the TUSD Board of Trustees are due for election this fall – those held by Holt, John Sims, Tami Muniz, Frank Lima and Eileen Hamilton. With Holt’s announcement, at least one is guaranteed to turn over.

Thus far, however, no new faces have yet thrown their hats in the ring. Only Muniz, Lima and Hamilton have filed papers to run thus far.

Holt said the timing of his announcement was, in part, intended to draw more candidates to the race.

“By announcing my decision now, I hope to encourage others to step up and volunteer to serve the school district,” Holt said. “The rewards are priceless.”

Candidates for the TUSD Board have until Friday to file with the County Clerk-Recorder/Elections Office.

Also facing the Friday registration deadline are candidates in a multitude of local races, ranging from two seats on the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors – Division 1, held by Michael Frantz since his appointment following the Sept. 25, 2009 death of Director Phillip Short; and Division 4, held by Chair Rob Santos – to Denair and Keyes Municipal Advisory Council seats, Chatom, Hughson and Denair school board seats, Denair and Keyes Community Service District seats, and Hughson Fire Protection District seats.

Qualifications vary by office, but generally require candidates be age 18 or older and a registered voter residing in the district he or she wishes to represent. Irrigation district directors must also own land within the district.

Only three non-incumbents had filed for local races by Tuesday: John E. Plett, a retired law enforcement professional, for the Denair School Board; and Mike Bernal, a campus safety officer, and William Alexander, both for the Keyes Community Service District.

Those interested in becoming candidates can visit the County Clerk-Recorder/Elections Office, 1021 I Street, Room 101, Modesto, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. More information for potential candidates is available by visiting stanvote.com, or by phoning 525-5200 or 535-5230 for assistance in Spanish.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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