Candidates aren’t exactly lining up to compete for dozens of open seats on school boards and special districts in the Mother Lode that are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 general election.

With the filing deadline 10 days away, only the races for the Tuolumne Utilities District Board of Directors, Sonora Union High School District Board of Trustees and Calaveras County Water District have more qualified candidates than open seats

The deadline will be extended to Aug. 15 for races in which the incumbent is not running for re-election.

Jeff Kerns, president of Yosemite Title Company, will vie for one of two open seats on the TUD board against incumbents Ron Ringen and Jim Grinnell, who are each seeking their second consecutive four-year term.

The three candidates who have qualified to compete for two open seats on the Sonora Union High School District Board of Trustees representing Area 2 are educator Jim Riggs and splicing technician Michael Garrett.

Sitting Area 2 Trustees Kathy Ankrom and Jeff Norstrom have said they will not seek re-election.

Jordan Reiser, a behavioral health clinician, is the only one who has expressed interest thus far in the Area 1 SUHS board seat held by Rob Lyons, whose term expires at the end of the year. Lyons could not be reached for comment.

Superintendent of Schools Margie Bulkin decided to retire at the end of the year, but she’s running for the area 1 seat on the Yosemite Community College District Board of Trustees that’s currently held by Lynn Martin, who has yet to qualify for the ballot.

Meanwhile, school boards in Tuolumne County with more open seats than candidates include those overseeing Summerville High School, Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified School District, Curtis Creek Elementary School, and Twain Harte Elementary School.

Not a single candidate has yet to qualify for three open seats on the Columbia Elementary School board, three open seats on the Sonora Elementary School board, three open seats on the Summerville Elementary School board and two open seats on County Board of Education in trustee areas 4 and 5.

All five of the seats on the Groveland Community Services District Board of Directors are up for election because three directors were appointed in the past year to fill vacancies.

Incumbent GCSD Director Spencer Edwards, who was appointed in November, was the only candidate who had qualified for the ballot as of Tuesday.

No one has yet to express any interest in running for seats on the boards of the Jamestown Fire Protection District, Jamestown Sanitary District, Tuolumne Park and Recreation District, Tuolumne Sanitary District and Strawberry Fire Protection District.

Special districts in which only incumbents have qualified for the ballot so far are the Columbia Fire Protection District, Mi-Wuk/Sugar Pine Fire Protection District, Tuolumne Fire Protection District, Twain Harte Community Services District, and Lake Don Pedro Community Services District.

Both open seats are the county Board of Supervisors in this election cycle will be decided in runoffs this November after none of the candidates were able to pull more than 50 percent of the vote in the June primary.

Voters in supervisorial district 2 will select between incumbent Randy Hanvelt and challenger Ryan Campbell to represent them on the county Board of Supervisors for the next four years, while voters in supervisorial district 3 will choose from Laurie Sylwester and Anaiah Kirk.

The only competitive race for a school board or special district in Calaveras County at this point is for the CCWD Board of Directors in Division 4, which has two candidates vying for one seat.

Russ Thomas, the appointed incumbent, will be challenged by Elaine St. John, a Copperopolis Realtor. Other seats on the CCWD that currently have only one candidate are for division 2 and 3.

Both open seats on the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors will also be decided in runoffs as well.

Former District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway will be looking to unseat incumbent Michael Oliveira, while sitting District 5 Supervisor Clyde Clapp will be challenged by Benjamin Stopper, a water treatment operator from Valley Springs.

The runoff for sheriff will be between incumbent Sheriff Rick DiBasilio and Gary Lee Stevens, an investigator for the Amador County District Attorney’s Office.

There are two seats up for election on the Angels Camp City Council, but only current Mayor Amanda Folendorf has qualified as a candidate.

A report last year by the county’s civil grand jury came to the controversial conclusion that the council should discuss the possibility of dissolving the city, in part due to what was cited as a lack of people willing to run for office.

There are also open seats available on nine community services districts, nine fire protection districts, three public utility districts, three sanitary districts, three veterans memorial districts, four school districts, as well as boards overseeing the Calaveras Office of Education, Mark Twain Health Care District, and San Andreas Parks and Recreation District.

The ballot will also feature statewide races for governor between Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox, State Senate District 8 between Republican Fresno County Supervisor Andreas Borgeas and Democratic businesswoman Paulina Miranda, Fifth Assembly District between incumbent Republican Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and Democratic educator Carla Neal, U.S. Senate between incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Democratic State Sen. Kevin de León, and Congressional District 4 between incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock and Democratic challenger Jessica Morse.

Contact Alex MacLean at or (209) 588-4530.