Pleasanton will have contested races for both City Council seats and at least one school board spot, while Mayor Karla Brown is unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election, as the initial candidacy deadline passed on Friday afternoon.
The filing period has been extended until next Wednesday for both Pleasanton Unified School District positions on the ballot, as neither incumbent is seeking re-election – among several notable deadline continuations throughout the Tri-Valley.
This will be Pleasanton's first election in district-based format for the City Council and PUSD Board of Trustees.
The two City Council seats in the race are for District 1, which represents the northwest Pleasanton neighborhoods, and District 3, which represents the southwestern part of the city.
In the District 3, incumbent Councilmember Julie Testa will be defending her seat against two challengers -- former PUSD trustee Jamie Yee and Joel Liu, chair of the city's Committee on Energy and the Environment.
Running for the wide-open District 1 seat will be Jeffrey Nibert, a Pleasanton planning commissioner and retired engineer, along with Dean Wallace, a longtime Tri-Valley resident and political staffer who currently works as a district director for Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Berkeley).
Current Councilmember Kathy Narum's seat on the council, for which she was elected at-large in 2018, has been assigned to District 1 after the conversion to district elections. Narum could not seek re-election to the council in November under the city's term limit law – there is no deadline extension for District 1 because Narum was not an incumbent eligible.
Mayor Brown had no challengers file against her in her bid for a second consecutive two-year term.
For PUSD, with incumbent trustees Joan Laursen and Mark Miller each declining to run, both the Area 5 and Area 2 seats have had their filing deadlines extended until 5 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 17).
Justin Brown, a planning commissioner with the city of Pleasanton, is the only candidate to file thus far for the Area 5 seat, which includes Vintage Hills and Hearst elementary schools and Pleasanton Middle School.
The two candidates running so far for the Area 2 seat, which represents the areas surrounding Hart Middle School and Fairlands Elementary, are newcomers Christine Lutz (listed as a human resources recruiter) and Urvi Shah (a mother and businesswoman). Resident Sylvia Tian pulled nomination papers but subsequently told the Weekly she would not be pursuing the election.
Following Friday evening's closure of the initial filing deadline, the contests for Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Board of Education, Livermore Area Recreation and Park District Board of Directors, Livermore City Council and mayor are all shaping up to be competitive races.
As it stands, Realtor and former Livermore police officer Mony Nop is the only qualified candidate for the mayoral race. Former mayor John Marchand previously announced that he would be running for the post again but was not on the candidate list as of Friday evening.
However, the filing period for the mayor's seat will be extended to Wednesday (Aug. 17) since first-term Mayor Bob Woerner is not seeking re-election for health reasons, which gives Marchand more time as well as potential newcomers to still join the contest.
The District 1 and District 2 City Council seats up for grabs this year do not qualify for an extension as there are no incumbents deemed eligible for re-election, according to city officials. The two council terms that are expiring this year are currently held by Councilmember Trish Munro and Vice Mayor Gina Bonanno, which were both at-large seats and are transitioning to district elections for the first time this year.
In District 1, which includes the northwest portion of the city, local high school teacher and Livermore Planning Commissioner Evan Branning and longtime Livermore resident and early childhood educator Carol Wahrer are set to compete for a spot on the dais.
Retired educator and current Livermore Lions Club president Ben Barrientos is poised to face off against travel agent and community organizer Mel Chiong for the District 2 seat, which represents the northeast portion of the city including the Springtown neighborhood.
Both the LVJUSD and LARPD boards each have three open seats in what stand to be crowded races ahead – nine candidates for the school board and six competing for the parks board.
The three open at-large seats on the Board of Education are currently held by Board President Craig Bueno, Board Clerk Emily Prusso and Trustee Anne White. All three incumbents are seeking re-election and are set to be on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Their challengers are Steven Drouin, Hayden Sidun, Kristina Mazaika, John Kupski, Deena Kaplanis and Alexandria Izarraraz.
Prospective challenger Stephanie Sanchez also pulled nomination papers for the school board election but she did not complete filing by the deadline.
LARPD board incumbents Philip Pierpont, David Furst and Board Chair Maryalice Summers Faltings are also all seeking re-election this year. Their challengers include Corey Hahn, Ruby Moppin and Robert Sanchez.
Tara Stevulak was also shown to have pulled nomination papers for the LARPD board race but did not complete the filing.
The city of Dublin had its City Council filing deadline extended to Wednesday with three candidates signed up so far while the city is poised for no competitive election for mayor, after Friday's 5 p.m. initial deadline.
Incumbent Mayor Melissa Hernandez is running for re-election unchallenged, as she was the only candidate to file nomination papers. Dublin Human Services Commissioner Shawn Costello pulled papers for the position but ultimately did not file.
Hernandez was elected into her current position in 2020, which made her the first Latina mayor in Dublin history. She previously served on the City Council.
The two at-large Dublin City Council seats are being sought after by up to four prospective candidates thus far, but the deadline has been extended to Wednesday because incumbent Councilmember Shawn Kumagai did not file for re-election as he is a finalist in the runoff for State Assembly District 20.
The confirmed candidates are current Vice Mayor Jean Josey, former planning commissioner Lynna Lan Tien Nguyen Do and planning commission alternate member Kashef Qaadri. Resident Monica Shangle, a senior program manager, pulled papers but had not filed as of Friday.
Josey was first elected in 2018 and has held positions on several Dublin Unified School District committees. Do has recently worked in the private sector however has previous experience in government and public work, including as a former Dublin Planning Commission member. Qaadri serves on several public boards, such as Alameda County Public Health Commission and DUSD Citizen Bond Oversight Committee.
Three positions for the Dublin Unified School District Governing Board are up for election – Area 2, Area 3 (short-term) and Area 5.
Kristin Speck, 2017 DUSD Boundary Committee member, is the only candidate to have filed for Area 2 of the board. The deadline is listed as extended to Wednesday on the county elections website.
Incumbent Area 3 Trustee William Kuo will be running to maintain his position. He was appointed in May 2021 to fill the unexpired term of his late wife Catherine Kuo until the next regular DUSD election – thus the election in November for Area 3 is for a two-year term, to get it back on its regular four-year cycle.
William Kuo is challenged by John Wu, who was also one of the applicants to fill the vacancy created by Catherine Kuo's death.
Current Board President Dan Cherrier faces Sameer Hakim for Area 5. Cherrier has been on the board since 2016. His challenger, Hakim, previously served on the DUSD Board of Trustees in an appointed capacity from 2015 to 2016.
For the Dublin San Ramon Services District Board of Directors, Area 5 appointed incumbent Arun Goel is running against Seema Badar, listed as a fundraiser, educator and mother.
Goel, a former Dublin City Council member, was picked by the other directors to fill the position for two years after Area 5 received no candidates for the ballot in the November 2020 election. This contest is for a two-year, short-term position to get Area 5 back on its regular election schedule.
DSRSD Director Ann Marie Johnson faces challenger Jim Brady for Area 2, which is in San Ramon. Director Georgean Vonheeder-Leopold is seeking re-election unopposed to her Dublin-based Area 4.
Other local races
The filing deadline has been extended for the Tri-Valley's Ward 5 position on the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors in light of longtime incumbent Ayn Wieskamp not seeking re-election.
Two prospective candidates with elected service experience have pulled papers but neither had completed the process by Friday – current LARPD Director Jan Palajac and current Zone 7 Water Agency Director Olivia Sanwong.
All three positions on the Sunol Glen Unified School District Governing Board are on the ballot this November – and all three have had their filing deadline extended.
There is a short-term position for two years on the ballot, for which information technology manager Chris Bobertz and teacher/nurse Linda Hurley have filed.
Trustee Ryan Jergensen, who currently holds the short-term position in an appointed capacity after a vacancy, is instead running for one of the two regular full terms on the ballot. The other candidates for the full seats thus far are business owner James Lowder and corporate attorney Peter "Ted" Romo. Both incumbents Liz Monti-Hall and Mike Picard are not seeking re-election.
Stephen Lanza was the only candidate to file for the Tri-Valley's Area 7 position on the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Board of Trustees. This is a short-term election to complete the unexpired term left vacant by the death of Trustee Ed Maduli in June.
The Tri-Valley also has several positions set for runoff election on the Nov. 8 ballots following the primary election in June.
Civil rights attorney Pamela Price and chief deputy district attorney Terry Wiley are competing for Alameda County district attorney. Incumbent DA Nancy O'Malley did not seek re-election.
In Assembly District 20, which includes a portion of western Pleasanton and Dublin, Kumagai is running against Liz Ortega – both Democrats in the finale.
For District 16, which includes the rest of the Tri-Valley, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is running against Joe Rubay (R-Alamo) – a rematch from the 2020 general election.
In the newly redrawn Congressional District 14, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) faces Republican challenger Alison Hayden. This is also a rematch from 2020.
For coverage of the San Ramon Valley candidacy deadline, visit DanvilleSanRamon.com.