It is shaping up as a three-way race for the Manteca mayor’s post.
As of Monday, two people have taken out nomination papers to run for mayor in the Nov. 8 election — political newcomer Lei Ann Larson and incumbent Ben Cantu.
The third hopeful is council member Gary Singh.
Singh, who has yet to pull papers, has a mayoral campaign kickoff fundraiser set for Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. at The Veranda events center in downtown Manteca.
Larson is a longtime Manteca resident who in the past two years has emerged a s a vocal community activist expressing displeasure at the direction the city has taken on a variety of issues.
She has appeared at various council meetings and has used a Grand Jury report critical of the City Council and Cantu for a wide array of issues ranging from costly buyouts of city department heads and managers to low employee morale at the time to back up her push for changes at City Hall.
Larson earlier this year was part of the Mantecans4Change effort to launch a recall of Cantu that they abandoned due to the proximity to the upcoming mayoral election.
There are also two district council seats up for election.
One candidate has taken out nomination papers so far, Dave Breitenbucher for the District 3 seat that consists primarily of “old Manteca” as it existed in the 1960s including the downtown area.
Breitenbucher had been prepping up for a run for mayor but opted instead to seek a second council term believing he would have a better impact as a council member.
The hopefuls must turn in at least 20 signatures of people that can be verified as registered voters within the city limits to qualify for the ballot.
The deadline for filing nomination papers is Aug. 12.
More information is available through the city clerk’s office.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, e mail email@example.com