By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Race for 2 Manteca council seats shaping up as a 5-person race
Debby Moorhead

It looks like Manteca voters will have five choices to select from to fill two City Council seats in the Nov. 3 election.

Incumbent Debby Moorhead returned completed nomination papers Thursday after taking them out the day prior.

City Clerk John Tresidder said whether there are enough signatures of city registered voters verified by county election officials today will determine for sure whether Moorhead qualifies for the ballot. If she does, filing closes today at 5 p.m. If she doesn’t — and due to the fact she is the incumbent — the filing period will be extended to Wednesday for anyone else but Moorhead.

The likelihood of a sixth candidate qualifying for the ballot other than a write-in is highly unlikely. As of the end of Thursday no one else took out nomination papers. Potential candidates have until 5 p.m. today to secure 20 signatures of valid registered voters that reside in the City of Manteca. The nomination forms have space for 30 signatures.

Already qualified for the ballot are incumbent Gary Singh; Dean Martin Sr. who is a Desert Storm era veteran, church deacon, and businessman; retired Manteca police chief Charlie Halford; and registered nurse Fred Cunha.

In the 2019 election voters turned out incumbents Mayor Steve DeBrum and Councilman Mike Morowit while the third incumbent — Richard Silverman opted not to seek re-election.

That leaves Moorhead and Singh with the longest council service. When their terms end in December, Moorhead will have served 12 years and Singh 4 years.

City voters on Nov. 3 will also determine the fate of a proposed one cent municipal sales tax increase.

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.

Due to an expected significant increase in mail-in ballots and those that are dropped off, there is a good chance clear winners will not be known until up to a month after ballots are cast.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email