Claremont city council, CUSD election deadlines quickly approaching

by Rebecca Norden-Bright  |

November may be months away, but Claremont residents hoping to run for local political office are already beginning to throw their hats in the ring.

For the first time this year, election to the city council will be determined by a district-based voting system rather than at-large elections. On November 3, two city council seats will be up for grabs—one in District 1, the area that stretches north of Arrow Highway between Mountain Avenue and Indian Hill Boulevard into north Claremont, and one in District 5, consisting of south Claremont.

Two candidates for District 1 have taken out nominating papers, according to Shelley Desautels, Claremont city clerk. Councilmember Corey Calaycay will be running for his fifth term, and Zach Courser, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, who lost by 53 votes in 2018.

In District 5, three candidates have pulled papers—Michael Ceraso, a Pitzer graduate who ran unsuccessfully in 2018 and who has a history of working in campaign politics, including most recently as New Hampshire state director for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign; Sal Medina, the owner and operator Packing House Wines in the Village; and Bennett Rea, a stay-at-home father running on a platform of increasing the economic diversity of the council.

None of the individuals who pulled nominating papers have formally filed paperwork to run, according to Ms. Desautels.

City council candidates have until August 10 to submit paperwork to run. To qualify, a candidate must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years old and a resident and qualified elector of the district he or she plans to run in. Required paperwork, which candidates must request from the city clerk, includes a form containing between 20 and 30 signatures from registered Claremont voters in the district; an Affidavit of Nominee confirming that the candidate will accept the seat if elected; a ballot designation worksheet describing the candidate’s profession, occupation or incumbency status; an optional 200-word candidate statement; a transliteration form; a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest; and an optional agreement to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.

More details about running for office can be found on the city of Claremont’s website,

In addition to the city council, Claremont voters will also be asked to choose two new school board members. The seats currently held by Hillary LaConte, a three-term member of the board, and by Mary Caenepeel, who has been temporarily filling the seat left vacant by Beth Bingham’s departure from the board in March, will be up for election.

Three people—Kathy Archer, Bob Fass and Chris Naticchia—have requested and been issued nomination papers by the Los Angeles County Elections Division to run for the seats; of those, two, Ms. Archer and Mr. Fass, have officialy filed.

Candidates for the school board have until August 7 to submit nomination papers to the Elections Division.



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