There may be fresh blood in races for local city councils this year, but for the special districts, the incumbents appear to be holding all of the cards.
Both of the people that qualified for the November ballot for the board of the Ripon Consolidated Fire District – voters are supposed to fill two seats in the Nov. 6 election – are incumbents. Given they have no challengers, Bryce Perkins and Harrison Lee Gibbs will both be granted new terms as the district comes up with strategies to help expand protection as the city grows outward and more people call Ripon home.
The same holds true for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, where Robert “Bob” Holmes and Ralph Roos, the incumbents, were the only two people to submit paperwork to run for the seats they have served on for years. Both were instrumental in helping guide the district towards entering the retail power business, eventually earning the blessing of San Joaquin County LAFCO to do just that – over the heavy objections of PG&E and the Los Angeles-based law firm hired to represent them in the local proceedings.
But not every race is a lock for the incumbents. At the Lathrop Manteca Fire District, incumbents Tye Peyton and Robert Gleason failed to run for another term, leading to an extension of the filing deadline that would have allowed them additional time to enter the race. Neither did, and it will be Tosh Ishihara – a Lathrop Planning Commissioner – and current Lathrop City Councilman Mark Elliott who will take their place.
And even with an election upcoming, the French Camp McKinley Fire District, as of right now, will continue to have an unoccupied seat on the Board of Directors. The district has been operating with only four directors since February when Mark Wulfing resigned with almost a year left on his term, and to date that position has not been filled.
But so far, with voters slated to select two candidates, only director James Larry Lee has qualified for the ballot – meaning the seat formerly occupied by Wulfing will remain unoccupied until the board appoints somebody to fill it after the election.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.