All but one city council race appears assured

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

The deadline to become a qualified Claremont City Council candidate is ticking away and, as of press time, only one incumbent has a race on his hands.

There is still time to throw one’s hat in the ring, but the deadline is fast approaching, as candidates must file their papers by 6 p.m. Monday, August 15.

Incumbents Ed Reece, Jennifer Stark and Jed Leano have decided to run for reelection. Former city councilmember Peter Yao will challenge Reece in District 2. As of 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, Leano in District 4 and Stark in District 3 are running unopposed.

However, that could change because Aundre Johnson pulled papers in District 4 on Wednesday.

In somewhat of a plot twist, just three of those four people hoping to serve are qualified candidates, meaning they have successfully completed the paperwork, collected the required 20 nominating signatures, and submitted the forms to the city clerk. Ed Reece has pulled papers for the election but had yet to submit them as of Wednesday.

Reached by phone, Reece said his paperwork is all filled out, but work demands have prevented him from going down to city hall. He said he would do so before the deadline.

While voters in districts 2, 3 and 4 will be heading to the polls in November, all the incumbents were elected in Claremont’s last citywide election and will be facing voters in their districts for the first time.

This election cycle stands in sharp contrast to two years ago when the city had 13 candidates vying for seats representing districts 1 and 5. Those seats will be up for grabs in November 2024.

It’s hard to gauge why so few people are running this cycle, and since the city has already had one election since dividing up into districts, it’s inconclusive whether that is a factor.

One thing is for certain, with Yao’s confirmed candidacy, if this were a citywide election, all three incumbents would be forced to mount a campaign. Look for an update in our next edition.

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