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Lathrop mayor Sayles has 2 challengers so far
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LATHROP – J. “Chaka” Santos was the first to officially announce his intent to try and wrest the top elected post of Lathrop from Mayor Kristy Sayles.

But he was not among the first three early birds who picked up candidates’ papers at City Hall since the official start of filing on Monday, July 12, which is also the start of the 2010 campaign season. He came in as No. 4, waiting until 10 a.m. Thursday to get to City Hall and secure his papers, according to City Clerk Mitzi Ortiz.

Candidates will have until Aug. 6 to submit their nomination papers and to pay the required fees for the Nov. 2 election.

Ending their terms in December are the mayor and council member Sonny Dhaliwal. The mayor is yet to officially declare that she is running for re-election. Dhaliwal, on the other hand, was one of the three early birds who pulled nomination papers earlier this week. The other two were former councilman Steve Dresser who is gunning for the mayor’s post, and political neophyte Omar Ornelas who is running for council. Santos is also after Sayles’ seat.

The two vacancies on the council are those of Dhaliwal and Robert K. Oliver whose seat was vacant since he retired in March.

The mayor’s term is for two years; council members serve for four years.

The other members of the council whose terms will not expire in two years are Vice Mayor Martha Salcedo and council member Christopher Mateo.

Deadline for filing candidates’ papers is Aug. 6.