Just three days after the June 8 Primary — and a long five months until the Nov. 2 General Election — Timm LaVelle announced his candidacy for this fall’s City Council Election on Friday evening.
LaVelle, an accountant and former Turlock Unified School District Board president, gathered a crowd of about 20 supporters on the steps of Turlock City Hall to make his announcement.
That sort of turnout — this far out from Election Day — meant something to LaVelle.
“What this shows me is that there are a lot of people in Turlock who care about change and want to see this change,” LaVelle told the assembled crowd.
The results of the Nov. 2 council election may change the direction of the city, as three seats will be on the ballot. The council seats held by Kurt Spycher and Ted Howze will be up for grabs, as will the Mayor’s seat, currently held by John Lazar.
Even those three incumbents have yet to announce if they will compete in the Nov. 2 tilt.
But the current seat holders have time — as does anyone else who wants to throw a hat in the ring. Candidates may not formally enter the race until July 12, and have until an Aug. 6 deadline to file paperwork to run. That deadline could be extended until Aug. 11 if an incumbent does not file for reelection.
Howze said Friday he’d decide what to do about the November campaign after the council completes work on the budget — and he enjoys a bit of vacation time with his family. Howze has been linked to a mayoral campaign, opening an exploratory committee called Friends of Ted Howze for Mayor 2010, but says he has yet to make up his mind about November’s race.
Already though, with LaVelle’s Friday announcement, three candidates have emerged for the Turlock City Council race.
Pat Noda, a Turlocker upset with the city’s finances, new bus hub, street system, and lack of a homeless shelter, announced his candidacy in a May 5 letter to the editor. Jeremy Rocha, 22, a recent California State University, Stanislaus graduate who hopes to put his freshly minted Political Science degree to the test on the council, entered the race May 10 with a press release. Rocha also ran in the 2006 council race, at age 18, and entered the 2008 race before abandoning his campaign two months out from Election Day.
Also expected on the ballot is Forrest White, a former Turlock Recreation manager who has publically discussed his candidacy but has yet to make a formal announcement. Other candidates have been rumored, but have yet to confirm their intentions to run.
Those candidates waiting in the wings had better get a move on, if LaVelle’s views on November’s campaign prove correct. While it still may seem early, LaVelle says, the time is now for candidates to begin campaigning,
“You’ve got to get out early,” LaVelle said. “… In this climate you need as much time as you can to build momentum.”
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