2018 primary elections on the horizon

Filing deadline is in March

It feels like only yesterday that San Benito County voters filled out ballots on Election Day, but later this year residents will do it again as the 2018 political season kicks off with the June 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election.

The deadline to file for all primary candidates is March 9, 2018, but if an incumbent fails to file, the deadline has an extension that may apply to anyone except the incumbent.

The top two candidates in each primary race will move on to final elections in November.

Local contests up at the June 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election include four-year terms for the following positions:

  • California State Senator District 12, currently held by Anthony Cannella
  • California Assembly Member District 30, currently held by Anna Caballero
  • County Supervisor District 3, currently held by Robert Rivas
  • County Supervisor District 4, currently held by Jerry Muenzer
  • County Assessor, currently held by Tom J. Slavich
  • County Clerk/Auditor/Recorder, currently held by Joe Paul Gonzalez
  • District Attorney, currently held by Candice Hooper Mancino
  • Sheriff/Coroner, currently held by Darren Thompson
  • Treasurer/Tax Collector/Public Administrator, currently held by Mary Lou Andrade
  • County Superintendent of Schools, currently held by Krystal Lomanto

Also, San Benito voters will vote for the 20th District seat in the House of Representatives, currently held by Democrat Jimmy Panetta.

Positions on the county and local school boards, as well as water districts also are up for grabs in this election year.

Some contests are already emerging. Muenzer will compete for his county seat against current Hollister Councilman Jim Gillio and Keith Snow, a resident who has run for Hollister’s mayoral position several times.

Both Cannella and Caballero are terming out, leaving their state representative seats open races.

Numerous positions at the state level will be left in the voters’ hands, including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller, treasurer and attorney general. Expect infighting among Democrats as they spar over what shade of blue California should be.

As of Jan. 5, no ballot measures had been filed with the San Benito County Elections Office, according to Bilingual Elections Coordinator Sheyla Funes Gonzalez. While it’s possible that a transportation tax measure and school bond measure could be submitted by the Council of San Benito County Governments (COG) and Gavilan College, respectively, nothing had been sent as of yet.

Races at the county level will take center stage during the June primary, but several city-related races are set to come to a head in November.

Three San Juan Bautista City Council seats are expected to be open contests, as Mayor Jim West, Councilman Chris Martorana and Councilman Tony Boch have previously stated they don’t intend to run for reelection in 2018.

Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, District 2 Councilwoman Mickie Luna, District 3 Vice Mayor Karson Klauer, District 4 Councilman Gillio and City Treasurer Geri Johnson will be up for reelection come November. Velazquez confirmed by phone Wednesday his intent to run for reelection. While it is currently unclear if Luna is planning another city council campaign, Klauer has stated he won’t be running for reelection. Gillio, who the council appointed to District 4 after Roy Sims abruptly stepped down in early 2017, will run a race at the county level and won’t be seeking the same city council seat.

There are currently 32,718 registered voters in San Benito County, but that number could go up with future election office efforts to register residents to vote during the Hollister Farmers Market, student seminars, League of United Latin American Citizens events and National Registration Day.

Fore more information on election information, visit the elections office website at www.sbcvote.us and follow them on twitter @sbcvote.

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