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Upcoming elections sooner than you think

Upcoming elections sooner than you think


POSTED June 30, 2009 9:06 p.m.
As thousands of Turlockers amble over to their calendar this morning, flip the page to the fireworks-themed picture of a fluffy kitty, and make plans to avoid the triple digit heat, the thought that Nov. 3 elections are now just four months away may seem hard to believe.
But the numerous local elected officials whose seats will be up for grabs are already well aware that the filing period for the November Consolidated Election is fast approaching.
While election districts have until the end of this week to formally submit a list of seats up for elections, almost 30 local offices — among more than 165 countywide positions — will be contested this November according to information provided by the County-Clerk Recorder’s Office. Offices will be available on boards ranging from school districts to community service districts, municipal advisory councils, and the Turlock Irrigation District.
Incumbents, however, are already planning their reelection campaigns.
“It’s never too early,” said Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees President Timm LaVelle, whose seat will be up for election in November.
LaVelle and other TUSD incumbents will join together to begin their campaigns on Saturday in Turlock’s 4th of July Patriotic Parade, riding in a car that implores parade goers to reelect the trustees. While these elected officials’ positions are often thankless, unpaid, time-consuming posts, the Turlockers seem determined to hold on to their seats despite rough budgetary situations around the state.
“Because we care,” LaVelle said. “I care. It takes several years to really start to get a handle on what you’re doing. I now have that. With the hard times that are going to be in front of us, I feel an obligation to be there.”
Rob Santos, a Chatom Union School District Board Member, is preparing for the November election in what will be his second campaign in three years. Santos gained a seat on the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors in the Nov. 5, 2007, election, but is already anticipating the prospect of hitting the campaign trail once again to retain his other elected office.
“I always look forward to the race,” Santos said. “I like campaigning.”
A few local elected officials still think it’s a bit early yet for campaigning to begin but have confirmed plans to seek reelection, including TID Board of Directors President Charles Fernandes. Others, including Chatom Union School District Board Member Karen Macedo, are taking a more tempered approach to the pending election.
“I’m still thinking about it (seeking reelection),” Macedo said. “I’ve enjoyed my tenure on the board and I love the District.”
Incumbents around the county don’t have too long to make up their minds whether or not to seek reelection, as all nomination documents must be submitted to the County Clerk-Recorder between July 13 and Aug. 7.
And, of course, those who are thinking about challenging incumbents for elected offices around the county face the same deadline to throw their hats in the ring.
“We encourage citizens to learn about this applicant process and consider becoming a candidate for office,” said Stanislaus County Clerk-Recorder Lee Lundrigan.
For more information on the Nov. 3 elections, visit www.stanvote.com or call the County Clerk-Recorder’s Office at 525-5200. Spanish speakers can contact the Clerk-Recorder’s Office at 525-5230.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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