As Friday — the deadline for candidates to file in political races — nears, the local field is shaping up.
This year’s primary election is set for June 8, with the general election following on Nov. 2.
A slew of local seats are up this year, including those of the Tuolumne County assessor-recorder, county clerk and auditor-controller, district attorney, sheriff-coroner, treasurer, superintendent of schools and superior court judge.
In addition, two seats are up for the Sonora City Council and two are up for the county Board of Supervisors. Also, various central committee seats are up for the American Independent, Republican and Democratic parties.
The filing deadline for the District 3 county supervisor seat will likely be extended to March 17, as incumbent Teri Murrison has taken out papers to run for the 25th Assembly seat set to be vacated by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto.
When an incumbent doesn’t run in a race, the filing deadline is extended by three business days.
Murrison is the only incumbent who hasn’t announced intentions to run for another term.
Murrison isn’t the only local candidate with statewide ambitions. Heidi Fuller, of Columbia, has announced plans to run for the state Senate District 14 seat being vacated by Republican David Cogdill, of Modesto.
Three candidates, so far, are vying for Murrison’s seat — David Bonnot, owner of Columbine Designs in Sonora, Robert Fulcher of the Tuolumne Parks and Recreation District board, and Evan Royce of the Tuolumne City Sanitary District board.
District 2 Supervisor Paolo Maffei has two challengers: Paul McNaul, of Cedar Ridge, and Randell Hanvelt, of the Soulsbyville area.
The supervisor races could be decided in the June primary if one candidate nets more than 50 percent of the vote. If not, the races will be decided in a two-person runoff in November.
Most of those who hold offices that require special qualifications or degrees don’t have any challengers, including County Clerk and Auditor Controller Debi Russell, District Attorney Donald Segerstrom, Treasurer Del Hodges, Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva and Superior Court Judge Eric DuTemple.
The exceptions are the sheriff’s race — which pits Sheriff Jim Mele against Tom Memmer, a sheriff’s detective — and the Assessor-Recorder’s Office race, which features incumbent Ken Caetano and Michael Dambacher. Dambacher owns Dambacher Appraisal Services.
In the Sonora City Council race, three candidates, so far, are competing for two seats in an at-large contest that includes incumbents Hank Russell and Gary Anderson, and newcomer Matthew Hawkins. The city council contest will be decided in June.
When it comes to party central committees, a number of people have entered the contests. This includes Sharon Marovich, Diane Doddridge, Joann Rascon, Marguerite Johnson, Janet Maffei, Domenic Torchia and Pamela Dobbs for the Democratic committee; Robert Leslie, Joe Day, Wilbur Kernaghan, Melvin Ford, Joan Kern, George Sanderson, Heidi Morton, Oliver Maxwell, Charles Day and Patricia Ryan for the Republican committee; and Jean Westphal for the American Independent Party.
So far, the number of central committee seats up for election exceeds the number of candidates.
A handful of candidates have yet to pay their filing fees, the final step that makes a candidacy official. They include: District 2 candidates Maffei, McNaul and Hanvelt; District 3 candidates Royce and Bonnot; Assessor-Recorder’s Office candidate Dambacher, and sheriff’s candidate Memmer.
Also, Murrison and Fuller have yet to pay their filing fee for their state races.