I finally got him on the phone on Thursday afternoon. Turns out he's still running. He told me he's purposefully keeping his campaign low-key, just leaving his name on the ballot "to see what happens."
We're seeing a different Carl Pollard this time around. His previous council campaigns (I think this is his ninth attempt) were hard-fought affairs. In fact, his run in 2007 was about as high-profile as it gets for Merced, with "The People's Councilman" earning financial backing from some of Merced's most prominent citizens.
Four years later, Pollard appears to be relying on reputation alone. Regardless of the outcome, it'll make for an interesting Nov. 8.