Eight running for three Merced City Council seats

Two incumbents opt out of this election

tmiller@mercedsunstar.comAugust 19, 2013 

— Eight people will make a run for the three Merced City Council seats up for grabs in November, according to the Merced County Registrar of Voters Office.

The deadline to file for the council race arrived Wednesday. Potential candidates were given five extra days because two incumbents did not file before the original deadline.

Councilman Bill Blake and Councilwoman Mary-Michal Rawling are not seeking re-election.

Newest to enter the race are Michael Belluomini, a facilities planner; Peter Padilla, an insurance agent; and Alex Gallardo, a teacher and coach. All three filed to run this week.

Other council election newcomers to file paperwork to be on November's ballot are Kevin Blake, a Merced County sheriff's sergeant; Jana Mowrer, a home health care manager for Lamerson Landy Care; Chris Ramirez, a lecturer for UC Merced; and Monica Kay Villa, a homemaker.

Incumbent Josh Pedrozo, a Merced High School teacher, filed his paperwork for re-election. He's been on the council since 2009.

The two candidates for the mayoral seat are incumbent Mayor Stan Thurston and sitting Councilman Noah Lor.

Retired Merced police detective David Alcaraz and entrepreneur Henry Ildefonzo pulled election paperwork but did not file before Wednesday's deadline. They will not be on the ballot.

Anyone who pulled paperwork to run for office was required to get 20 nomination signatures before officially filing to become a candidate.

On the November ballot, voters will be given the option to change city elections from odd-numbered years to even years.

Merced stands alone in the area in holding elections in odd-numbered years. A switch would allow Merced to split election costs with other districts, according to officials.

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or tmiller@mercedsunstar.com.

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