David Martin Sr. is a Desert Storm era veteran, church deacon, and businessman.
He is also among four people who so far have qualified or are in the process of doing so by circulating petitions to qualify for two Manteca City Council seats on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The other three are incumbent Gary Singh, retired Manteca police chief Charlie Halford, and registered nurse Fred Cunha.
Debby Moorhead — the other incumbent — has not yet indicated whether she will seek a fourth term. Health issues have forced her to miss recent council meetings even though they have been conducted remotely using Zoom. Moorhead has served on the council for 11½ years. She is only the fifth woman in the 102-year history of Manteca to be elected to the council.
The filing ends this Friday. Should Moorhead opt not to run, state law extends the filing period five more days to Wednesday, Aug. 12.
If Moorhead doesn’t run and Singh is re-elected he would become the longest serving council member at four years
And if the voters opt to elect two newcomers, it would mark the first time in at least 40 years that a council governing Manteca will essentially be composed of members with two years or less time in elected office.
Potential candidates have until Aug. 7 to secure 20 signatures of valid registered voters that reside in the City of Manteca. The nomination forms have space for 30 signatures.
Although it is rare, there have been people that have filed to run who failed to have enough valid signatures.
The most recent example was 16 years ago when the late Wayne Flores was planning a political comeback after serving for eight years on the council and being off for four years. He turned in his papers on the final day with 24 signatures. Five of the signatures ended up being invalid therefore causing Flores to fail to qualify for the ballot.
This year’s election is expected to take place in uncharted territory. Due to the pandemic, it is the first time all voters will be mailed ballots. The COVID-19 rules could change the dynamics of campaigning and fundraising. Candidates and their supporters knocking on doors may not be a campaign strategy that many voters appreciate and therefore could be counterproductive.
City Clerk John Tresidder indicated given city hall offices are closed to the general public due to the pandemic, potential candidates can contact him at his direct line at 456-8025 to answer questions or to set up an appointment and go over the nomination papers and other requirements. Tresidder noted if he is not at his desk that he will return calls left on his voicemail.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, firstname.lastname@example.org