District 5 candidates hope to sway South Claremont voters

by Kathryn Dunn | editor@claremont-courier.com

South Claremont has secured four candidates for District 5 in the city’s first district-based election.

The candidates are Michael Ceraso, Donell Clark, Sal Medino and Bennett Rea.

Michael Ceraso, owner of Winning Margins, LLC, a political and communications firm in West Covina. He most recently worked as a state director for Pete Buttigieg’s campaign.

Mr. Ceraso, who previously ran for the Claremont City Council in 2018, related that his focus this election is on “the people who are struggling to keep up—and now with COVID are further behind.”

He wants to make inclusion a reality for the city of Claremont and will fight for affordable housing for families, seniors and college students who want to stay in town after graduation.

“I will be your representative who listens to the movement to reimagine public safety so it is fairer and more just for Black and Latinx people, and I assure you that I will use the power of city hall to make everyone feel safe,” his candidate statement read.

Mr. Ceraso wants Claremont to focus on renewable energy and helping business owners overcome hardship.

“For every resident, I will be there for Claremont to not only recover from COVID, but also to ensure our community can thrive for generations to come,” he said. “I’ll work to revitalize businesses and help usher a new era of economic opportunity.”

Donell Clark is the marketing and admissions director for Oak Park Manor, a memory care community on College Avenue, and previously worked for Claremont Place. No candidate statement was filed with the city clerk.

Silviano “Sal” Medina Since 2007, Sal Medina and his wife EV have owned and operated Packing House Wines on First Street. He taught social science at Monrovia High School prior to opening his business.

A 14-year Claremont resident, Mr. Medina received Congressional recognition in 2019 when he was selected by Judy Chu as businessperson of the year. He has also been active with Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Small Business Advisory Committee and with the California SBA Advisory Committee.

According to his candidate statement, Mr. Medina is “dedicated to encouraging district engagement, building a strong economy, and making Claremont a safe community for all.”

A naturalized citizen, Mr. Medina was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in Azusa. He attended Citrus College and University of La Verne, and since that time has been actively involved with the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, Claremont Kiwanis and the University of La Verne Alumni Board.

For three years, Bennett Rea was manager of Greenbar Distillery, a Los Angeles-based eco-conscious and organic distillery that also hosted fundraisers for environmental causes, including the Green Earth Film Festival.

Mr. Rea, who lives with his wife and 11-month-old daughter in south Claremont, pledges to fight for a manageable cost of living for all Claremont residents.

“I’m no stranger to living paycheck to paycheck,” he said in his statement. “My wife and I have made good lives for ourselves and our daughter despite experiencing two recessions and a global pandemic. I pledge to create and support policies that keep outside issues from hitting you inside the home.”

Mr. Rea would like to help create city programs that support young families, provide radical transparency of local government and combat the growing deficit.

“I’ll amplify the voices of our city’s unheard and ignored residents; push for antiracist zoning, housing and safety policies; and imagine environmental programs that are economically viable to maintain the beauty of Claremont.”


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