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WANTED: A few good candidates
Field slim for Nov. 8 election
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Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a slew of measures last week, some of which will change how elections are conducted.

The new laws will:

·         Allow for online voter registration, no later than Jan. 1, 2012.

·         Alter the new citizen voter registration process, allowing new citizens to register and vote until the close of polls on Election Day. Previously, new citizens had to register at least seven days prior to Election Day.

·         Remove permanent vote by mail voters from the list of qualified permanent vote by mail voters if those voters fail to vote in four consecutive statewide general elections. Previously, voters were removed from the list if they failed to vote in two consecutive statewide general elections.

·         Allow write-in votes to be counted, even if the box next to the write-in blank is not bubbled in. Previously, if voters had written in a name but failed to mark the appropriate box, the vote would be considered an “undervote” and would not be counted.

·          Allow only vote-by-mail ballots in Yolo County, other than in statewide primary or general elections or special elections to fill a vacancy in a state office, the Legislature or Congress. The change will be conducted as a trial through 2017.



Nov. 8 Election Candidates

* As of Tuesday


Turlock Irrigation District

2 Directors

       Division 1 (Frantz)                                             

·         Michael Frantz – Farmer/Businessman (Appointed Incumbent) 

       Division 4 (Santos)

·         Rob Santos – Veterinarian (Incumbent)


Denair Municipal Advisory Council

2 Council Members (Zumstein, Findley)

·         Cheryl Zumstein – Appointed Incumbent

·         Dennis R. Findley – Incumbent


Keyes Municipal Advisory Council                                                 

3 Council Members (Alexander, Landers, Reed)

·         Davie Landers Jr. – Incumbent

·         William Alexander – Incumbent

·         Jeff Reed – Incumbent


Chatom Union School District

2 Board Members (Soderstrom, Costa)

·         Steve Soderstrom – Incumbent


Denair Unified School District                                                                        

3 Board Members (Day, Brown, Ellis)

·         John E. Plett – Retired Law Enforcement

·         Carolyn D. Brown – Incumbent


Keyes Union School District

2 Board Members (Marchant, Edwards)

·         Bob Edwards – Incumbent


Hughson Unified School District

2 Board Members (Harman, Hudelson)

·         Mark Harman – Business Owner (Incumbent)

·         James Hudelson – Incumbent


Turlock Unified School District

District Area Shared With Merced County

4 Board Members (Sims, Hamilton, Holt, Lima)

·         Eileen Hamilton – Incumbent

·         Frank M. Lima – Incumbent

1 Board Member – Short Term (Muniz)

·         Tami Harril-Muniz – Appointed Incumbent


Denair Community Service District

3 Directors (McDonald, Allen, Curnow)

·         Ronald C. Allen – Incumbent

·         T. J. McDonald – Incumbent

·         Karl F. Curnow – Incumbent


Keyes Community Service District

2 Directors (Chadwick, Grewal)

·         William Alexander – No Designation

·         Casey Chadwick – Incumbent

·         Mike Bernal – Campus Safety Officer

1 Director – Short Term (Parker)

·         Jonathan Parker – Appointed Incumbent


Hughson Fire Protection District

3 Directors (Voss, Serpa, Absher)

·         David S. Absher – Incumbent

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, or by phoning 525-5200 or 535-5230 for assistance in Spanish.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.