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Two seats up for grabs on Manteca City Council
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Filing opens in 24 days for the Manteca City Council election set for Nov. 3.

The terms of council members Gary Singh as well as Debby Moorhead expire this year.

No one has formally declared for the upcoming election. However; Singh has indicated he will likely seek a second term. Singh is the second longest serving council member with 3½ years.

Moorhead is the longest serving council member with 11½ years. Moorhead is the sole woman on the council. She is also only the fifth woman to be elected to the council in the city’s 102-year history. Moorhead has served longer than any other woman elected to the council.

Filing opens July 13 and closes Aug. 7. If an incumbent opts not to run, the filing period is extended for a week.

Information on how to file and what campaign laws regarding financial disclosure and how donations and expenditures must be reported is available through the city clerk’s office. Candidates need to collect the signature of 20 registered voters that must be verified as City of Manteca residents in order to qualify for the ballot.

Candidates have to be registered to vote and be at least 18 years old on Election Day.

This election will be unique as it will be the first ever in Manteca conducted 100 percent by mail due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As such it is expected to result in a higher than usual voter turnout.

It is also likely to change how candidates campaign.

Mail-in ballots are sent out 30 days in advance. Based on how past mail-in voting has gone, a significant chunk of people will start casting ballots almost a month ahead of the election date. That means candidates will need to start reaching out to voters earlier than normal.

The pandemic may also dampen voter enthusiasm for candidates campaigning door-to-door or attending fundraising events.

At the last council meeting, Mayor Ben Cantu again mentioned his desire to see the city go to district elections. That means the city would be carved into four areas based on population with the voters of each area electing one council member. The mayor would still be elected citywide.

If the city were now divided by districts either one or two of the current council members would not be eligible to serve depending upon where district boundaries would be drawn. That’s because three council members — Jose Nuño, Singh, and Moorhead – live in close proximity to each other near Woodward Park.

Nuño, Cantu, and Dave Breitenbucher will be at the midway point of their first term when balloting takes place Nov. 3.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email