New potential candidates for public office in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties have emerged and others have dropped out prior to the beginning of the official nomination period to qualify for the June 5 primary election.

Those looking to get their names on the ballot can start taking out nomination papers from the elections office in their respective counties on Monday. They must collect between 20 and 40 valid signatures from constituents and pay the designated filing fee to qualify.

Nomination papers for races in which the incumbent is running must be filed by 5 p.m. March 9. If the incumbent is not running, the deadline is extended to 5 p.m. March 14.

Prospective candidates had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file petitions that will either reduce or waive their filing fee depending on the amount of valid signatures they collected since Dec. 14.

The most interest thus far appears to be for Board of Supervisors seats in both counties.

Tuolumne County

The most contested seat in Tuolumne County at this point appears to be for the Board of Supervisors in District 2, which includes the communities of Cedar Ridge, Crystal Falls, Phoenix Lake, Soulsbyville and Willow Springs.

Ryan Campbell and David Titchenal have each announced bids to challenge two-term incumbent Randy Hanvelt.

Hanvelt, a retired General Electric global executive, and Campbell, a county administrative analyst, have each filed petitions in-lieu of paying the full $398.14 filing fee.

Titchenal, one of the founders of the local State of Jefferson chapter, didn’t file an in-lieu petition but confirmed on Thursday that he still plans to run.

Paul McNaul, who unsuccessfully challenged Hanvelt in 2014, had expressed interest in another bid but was forced to drop out of the race after moving to District 4 a couple of weeks ago.

The race would go to a runoff in November between the top-two vote getters unless one of them finishes in the June primary with at least one vote more than 50 percent of the total amount cast.
Two candidates have filed in-lieu petitions for the Board of Supervisors seat in District 3.

Laurie Sylwester, a former District 3 supervisor who teaches art history and ceramics at Columbia College, and Anaiah Kirk, a supervisor of correctional counselors at Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, have both announced their candidacies and launched campaign websites.

Two-term incumbent District 3 Supervisor Evan Royce, who was first elected in 2010, announced this week he will not be seeking a third term to spend more time with family and focus on his construction business.

Royce’s absence in the race means the deadline for filing nomination papers will be extended to March 14.

The district includes the communities of Tuolumne, Twain Harte, Mi-Wuk Village, and others east of Highway 108.

Out of all of the potential candidates who have filed in-lieu petitions in Tuolumne County, only Sylwester appears to have reached the required amount to fully waive her filing fee when the nomination period begins Monday, according to Assistant County Clerk Robbie Bergstrom.

Candidates in District 3 needed 441 signatures to completely avoid the $398.14 fee.

Incumbents who have filed in-lieu petitions and are currently without challengers are Assessor-Recorder Kaenan Whitman, County Clerk and Auditor-Controller Debi Bautista, District Attorney Laura Krieg, and Sheriff Jim Mele.

Other incumbents who have announced they will not seek re-election are Superintendent of Schools Margie Bulkin and Treasurer-Tax Collector Shelley Piech.

Cathy Ann Parker, associate superintendent of educational services for the county Superintendent of Schools Office, filed petition in-lieu papers this week indicating her intention to run for Bulkin’s seat.

Michelle Ronning has also filed papers for the treasurer-tax collector position. She currently serves as revenue recovery manager in the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office.

Meanwhile, incumbent Tuolumne County Superior Court Judges Donald Segerstrom and Kevin Seibert have each all but secured additional six-year terms on the bench.

Judicial candidates were required to file their declaration of intention between Jan. 29 and Feb. 7, but Segerstrom and Seibert were the only ones to file.

Bergstrom said that means Segerstrom and Seibert only have to file their nomination papers with 20 to 40 signatures each during the candidacy period and no one else would be allowed to run against them.

Possible candidates for two open seats on the Sonora City Council have yet to pull any paperwork from the elections office because they are not required to pay a filing fee. They must collect and file between 20 and 30 signatures during the nomination period to get on the ballot.

Incumbent Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Garaventa would be in rotation to become the city’s next mayor in July if he wins re-election this June.

Incumbent Councilman George Segarini has announced he will not seek re-election, which means the nomination period for council candidates will be extended to March 14.

Calaveras County

There appears to be more incumbents facing potential challengers in Calaveras County at this point in the process.

Incumbent District 3 Supervisor Michael C. Oliveira, former District 3 Supervisor Merita Callaway, and Terence Langan have all filed in-lieu petitions for the District 3 seat.

The district encompasses a long swath of the western portion of the county, from Ebbetts Pass south to Douglas Flat and part of Vallecito.

Incumbent District Supervisor Clyde Clapp, Benjamin Stopper and Bruce Giudici have all filed in-lieu petitions for the District 5 seat. Gregory S. Gustafson pulled papers but didn’t file by the deadline Wednesday, according to the county Elections Office.

The district includes the communities of Milton, Jenny Lind and Rancho Calaveras.

All of the other three county supervisors are also facing potential recall efforts that, if successful, would put them on the ballot in the June 5 election as well. Each recall petition would require valid signatures from 25 percent of registered voters in the respective districts.

The county Elections Office has approved the circulation of a recall petition for District 2 Supervisor Jack Garamendi. It would require 1,319 valid signatures of voters in that district by 5 p.m. April 19 to get on the ballot.

The effort against Garamendi was launched in October by people angry over his support for commercial cannabis cultivation, an issue that has bitterly divided the county over the past couple of years.

Just days after the board voted 3-2 to ban commercial cultivation in January, two licensed pot growers served notices of intent to circulate recall petitions against District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli and District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills, who voted in favor of the ban.

Robin Glanville, assistant county clerk-recorder, said the office is reviewing a blank petition submitted to recall Mills that would require 1,555 valid signatures to get on the ballot if approved for circulation.

Glanville said today is the deadline for the office to receive the petition to recall Tofanelli, which would require 1,399 signatures if approved for circulation.

Incumbents in Calaveras County who have filed in-lieu petitions and do not currently have any potential challengers are Coroner Kevin Raggio, County Clerk-Recorder Rebecca Turner, District Attorney Barbara Yook, Treasurer-Tax Collector Barbara Sullivan, and County Superintendent of Schools Scott Nanik.

Nanik, the office’s former associate superintendent, was appointed to fill out the remainder of former Superintendent of Schools Kathy Northington’s term through Dec. 31, 2018, after she retired at the end of last year.

Incumbent County Assessor Leslie Davis is facing a potential challenge from Timothy Muetterties, while Robin Danfelt has filed papers indicating a run against incumbent County Auditor-Controller Rebecca Callen.

Callen publicly announced in October that she would not seek re-election this year, but has since changed her mind.

In an email, Callen stated she was dealing with negativity toward her office and a general feeling of exclusion from fiscal activities when she announced she would not seek re-election.

Callen stated she decided to run again because of a focused effort by the county to turn those issues around and an improved attitude for her office over the past couple of months.

Incumbent Sheriff Rick DiBasilio and two potential challengers have filed in-lieu petitions.

DiBasilio is a former sergeant and 14-year veteran of Sheriff’s Office who was appointed by the board to complete the term of former Sheriff Gary Kuntz following his unexpected death in October 2015.

The others who have filed petitions indicating their intention to run for sheriff are Gary Stevens, an investigator for the Amador County District Attorney’s Office who was interviewed by the board to become Kuntz’ replacement, and Patrick Garrahan, a former Oakland police officer who lost the 2014 sheriff’s race to Kuntz by a margin of 12 percentage points.

Seats on the Angels Camp City Council will not be open until the Nov. 6 general election. However, Glanville said the city is expected to submit a ballot measure for the June 5 election that would make the city clerk and city treasurer positions appointed by the council as opposed to elected by the city’s voters.

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