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Bohr Bhandal challenges incumbent Dhaliwal for Lathrop mayoral post
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Sonny Dhaliwal may have some competition when he strives for his fifth term as Lathrop’s mayor in November.

According to the City of Lathrop’s newest election update, Bohr Singh Bhandal took out the nomination paperwork to run for mayor on Thursday – the same day that Dhaliwal formally qualified for the ballot.

Not much is known about Bhandal, and multiple phone numbers linked to a person with that name went unanswered as of Friday evening. His contact information and the paperwork submitted to the City of Lathrop will not be public until after the nomination period has closed.

If Bhandal qualifies for the ballot it will be the first time since 2016 that Dhaliwal will face opposition for the council’s top seat.

Dhaliwal is already the longest-serving mayor that Lathrop – which elects its mayor every two years – has ever had. After defeating Joseph “Chaka” Santos for the seat in a contentious race in 2012, Dhaliwal went on to beat Rosalinda Valencia in 2014 and Steven Macias in 2016 – another contentious race that included negative mailers that attempted to link Dhaliwal to other San Joaquin County politicians that had been the feature of negative news attention.

Dhaliwal had no opposition in 2018.

As of Friday evening, both Dhaliwal and Jennifer Torres-O’Callaghan had qualified for the November ballot, leaving only Martha Salcedo as the incumbent that has yet to take out the requisite nomination paperwork. In addition to the mayor’s race there will be two four-year council terms up for grabs, seats currently occupied by Torres-O’Callaghan and Salcedo, and there are four people that have taken out the paperwork to run for those seats – Torres-O’Callaghan, Christopher Lee Sandoval, Rajkanwal Singh Nagra, and Minnie Diallo.

Diallo is the only current challenger that has any experience running for election in Lathrop and is the only challenger that is currently in a council-appointed position as a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Prospective candidates will have until August 7 at 5 p.m. to submit the necessary paperwork to qualify for the November ballot. Statements of qualification will be made available for public examination for a period of 10 calendar days following the closing of the nomination period.

After facing budget shortfalls that eclipsed $16 million in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis – which hit San Joaquin County especially hard – the City of Lathrop has emerged as a growing California city with more than 10,000 single family homes waiting to be constructed and millions of square feet of commercial properties earmarked for construction.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.