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Candidate lists finalized in San Ramon Valley after extension deadline passes

Rubio files to face Kenniston-Lee for San Ramon D4; no new names emerge for SRVUSD Area 1

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Marisol Rubio emerged as a last-minute candidate for the San Ramon City Council District 4 seat in time to qualify for the ballot. Embarcadero Media regrets the error of her omission originally.

The Contra Costa County Elections Division on Wednesday confirmed the final list of candidates for this year's general election, including local races in the San Ramon Valley.

The candidacy filing period officially ran from July 18 to Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. However, the nomination period remained open five additional days for seats with no incumbent running, through Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In the San Ramon Valley these included the District 4 seat on the San Ramon City Council, in which incumbent Sabina Zafar opted to run for mayor instead, and the Area 1 trustee seat at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education, where sitting trustee Ken Mintz opted not to run for another term.

Parks Commissioner Heidi Kenniston-Lee was the first candidate to file for the District 4 seat in San Ramon despite the deadline extension. While it initially appeared that the District 4 seat would be an uncontested race, Dublin San Ramon Services District Director Marisol Rubio emerged as a last-minute challenger ahead of the extended deadline for candidacy.

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Although she had submitted her papers earlier, they were processed just ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline on Aug. 17, according to the city clerk's office. With no incumbent running for the District 4 seat, the candidacy filing period for that race had been extended from the Aug. 12 deadline for races with incumbents running.

Rubio is in the midst of a four-year term in the Division 1 seat on the DSRSD, which she was elected to in 2020 in an uncontested race that November. In that year's primary election, she had run for State Senate as a Democratic challenger to incumbent Steve Glazer, but was beat out for a spot in the runoff by Republican challenger Julie Mobley.

DSRSD General Manager Dan McIntyre said that while district officials would engage in legal review if Rubio were elected to the council seat, they most likely expect she would need to step down from the DSRSD Board of Directors.

"There's a lot of overlap between our service district and the City of San Ramon," McIntyre said. "Typically in situations like this the two offices are deemed to be incompatible activities."

For the city's other elections, which had their candidate lists finalized last Friday, Dave Hudson, incumbent mayor of San Ramon, is running to defend his seat against challenges from Zafar and Dinesh Govindarao.

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Sitting Councilmember Mark Armstrong is seeking election to the District 2 seat on the San Ramon council, which he was appointed to in the wake of Hudson's election to his current term as mayor in 2020. Sarah Lashanlo, who was a candidate for appointment as Hudson's replacement, is also vying for the seat on Nov. 8.

For SRVUSD's Area 1, with Mintz's decision not to run, Jesse vanZee, Michelle Sinnott Petersen and Jerome Pandell are the three qualified candidates. They had filed by last Friday's initial deadline, and no newcomers came forward during the extension period.

Sitting trustees Rachel Hurd and Susanna Ordway are the only qualified candidates to run for the Area 5 and Area 4 seats, respectively.

With longtime Ward 6 Director Beverly Lane opting not to run for another term at the East Bay Regional Park District, the seat has been left open for a new face. John Mercurio is the only qualified candidate for that race, despite the extended deadline due to no incumbent running.

Another election that saw a deadline extension to Wednesday was Diablo Community Services District, but no new candidates emerged since Friday in the race for three board seats. Five candidates – Christine Chartier, Jefforey Eorio, Garth Hobden, Gregory Lorenz and Jerry Slavonia – have qualified for that race.

Danville was among the jurisdictions where the local candidate lists were finalized last Friday. Incumbent councilmembers Karen Stepper and Robert Storer emerged as the only candidates for the two seats on the Danville Town Council up for grabs. With no other candidates having filed, the Town Council will discuss next week whether to move forward with an election or to instead appoint the two incumbents for an additional four years.

At the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, incumbent directors Donald Parker and Ryan Crean were the only candidates for two full-term seats – challenger Monique Beryl Watson pulled papers but ultimately did not make the ballot. Director Jay Kerr is also the only candidate for SRVFPD's short-term seat.

At the Contra Costa Community College District, all three incumbents –- including Ward 4 trustee Andy Li, who represents the San Ramon Valley – are seeking additional terms and facing no challengers. Li and Ward 3 Trustee Rebecca Barrett were both the sole candidates to file for their seats, while Ward 1 Trustee John Marquez was set to be challenged by former student trustee Shreejal Luitel before he withdrew his candidacy.

John Coleman, incumbent Ward 2 director for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is also facing no challengers in this year's race.

However, not all San Ramon Valley officials at the ends of their current terms are going unchallenged. On the Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 4 incumbent Mike Maxwell is poised to square off against two challengers – Cheri Calcagno and Anaite Letona.

At DSRSD, incumbent Area 5 director is facing challenger Seema Badar, with incumbent Area 2 Director competing against Jim Brady. Meanwhile, Area 4 Director Georgean Vonheeder-Leopold is running for re-election unopposed, and Area 5 appointed incumbent Arun Goel faces Seema Badar for a two-year term.

November's ballot will also see the return of a number of names from the June primary who qualified for runoff races.

With current Clerk-Recorder Debi Cooper not seeking election to the position, Kristin Connelly and Vicki Gordon emerged as the top two in a four-candidate race in June. One of the two is set to be elected to the position by voters this November.

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is facing off against republican challenger Joe Rubay (R-Alamo) for her District 16 seat, with incumbent Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) facing Green Party challenger Michael Kerr.

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Jeanita Lyman
Jeanita Lyman joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, after moving back to the area in 2013. Read more >>

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Candidate lists finalized in San Ramon Valley after extension deadline passes

Rubio files to face Kenniston-Lee for San Ramon D4; no new names emerge for SRVUSD Area 1

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 18, 2022, 5:28 am
Updated: Wed, Aug 24, 2022, 5:09 pm

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Marisol Rubio emerged as a last-minute candidate for the San Ramon City Council District 4 seat in time to qualify for the ballot. Embarcadero Media regrets the error of her omission originally.

The Contra Costa County Elections Division on Wednesday confirmed the final list of candidates for this year's general election, including local races in the San Ramon Valley.

The candidacy filing period officially ran from July 18 to Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. However, the nomination period remained open five additional days for seats with no incumbent running, through Wednesday at 5 p.m.

In the San Ramon Valley these included the District 4 seat on the San Ramon City Council, in which incumbent Sabina Zafar opted to run for mayor instead, and the Area 1 trustee seat at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education, where sitting trustee Ken Mintz opted not to run for another term.

Parks Commissioner Heidi Kenniston-Lee was the first candidate to file for the District 4 seat in San Ramon despite the deadline extension. While it initially appeared that the District 4 seat would be an uncontested race, Dublin San Ramon Services District Director Marisol Rubio emerged as a last-minute challenger ahead of the extended deadline for candidacy.

Although she had submitted her papers earlier, they were processed just ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline on Aug. 17, according to the city clerk's office. With no incumbent running for the District 4 seat, the candidacy filing period for that race had been extended from the Aug. 12 deadline for races with incumbents running.

Rubio is in the midst of a four-year term in the Division 1 seat on the DSRSD, which she was elected to in 2020 in an uncontested race that November. In that year's primary election, she had run for State Senate as a Democratic challenger to incumbent Steve Glazer, but was beat out for a spot in the runoff by Republican challenger Julie Mobley.

DSRSD General Manager Dan McIntyre said that while district officials would engage in legal review if Rubio were elected to the council seat, they most likely expect she would need to step down from the DSRSD Board of Directors.

"There's a lot of overlap between our service district and the City of San Ramon," McIntyre said. "Typically in situations like this the two offices are deemed to be incompatible activities."

For the city's other elections, which had their candidate lists finalized last Friday, Dave Hudson, incumbent mayor of San Ramon, is running to defend his seat against challenges from Zafar and Dinesh Govindarao.

Sitting Councilmember Mark Armstrong is seeking election to the District 2 seat on the San Ramon council, which he was appointed to in the wake of Hudson's election to his current term as mayor in 2020. Sarah Lashanlo, who was a candidate for appointment as Hudson's replacement, is also vying for the seat on Nov. 8.

For SRVUSD's Area 1, with Mintz's decision not to run, Jesse vanZee, Michelle Sinnott Petersen and Jerome Pandell are the three qualified candidates. They had filed by last Friday's initial deadline, and no newcomers came forward during the extension period.

Sitting trustees Rachel Hurd and Susanna Ordway are the only qualified candidates to run for the Area 5 and Area 4 seats, respectively.

With longtime Ward 6 Director Beverly Lane opting not to run for another term at the East Bay Regional Park District, the seat has been left open for a new face. John Mercurio is the only qualified candidate for that race, despite the extended deadline due to no incumbent running.

Another election that saw a deadline extension to Wednesday was Diablo Community Services District, but no new candidates emerged since Friday in the race for three board seats. Five candidates – Christine Chartier, Jefforey Eorio, Garth Hobden, Gregory Lorenz and Jerry Slavonia – have qualified for that race.

Danville was among the jurisdictions where the local candidate lists were finalized last Friday. Incumbent councilmembers Karen Stepper and Robert Storer emerged as the only candidates for the two seats on the Danville Town Council up for grabs. With no other candidates having filed, the Town Council will discuss next week whether to move forward with an election or to instead appoint the two incumbents for an additional four years.

At the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District, incumbent directors Donald Parker and Ryan Crean were the only candidates for two full-term seats – challenger Monique Beryl Watson pulled papers but ultimately did not make the ballot. Director Jay Kerr is also the only candidate for SRVFPD's short-term seat.

At the Contra Costa Community College District, all three incumbents –- including Ward 4 trustee Andy Li, who represents the San Ramon Valley – are seeking additional terms and facing no challengers. Li and Ward 3 Trustee Rebecca Barrett were both the sole candidates to file for their seats, while Ward 1 Trustee John Marquez was set to be challenged by former student trustee Shreejal Luitel before he withdrew his candidacy.

John Coleman, incumbent Ward 2 director for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) is also facing no challengers in this year's race.

However, not all San Ramon Valley officials at the ends of their current terms are going unchallenged. On the Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 4 incumbent Mike Maxwell is poised to square off against two challengers – Cheri Calcagno and Anaite Letona.

At DSRSD, incumbent Area 5 director is facing challenger Seema Badar, with incumbent Area 2 Director competing against Jim Brady. Meanwhile, Area 4 Director Georgean Vonheeder-Leopold is running for re-election unopposed, and Area 5 appointed incumbent Arun Goel faces Seema Badar for a two-year term.

November's ballot will also see the return of a number of names from the June primary who qualified for runoff races.

With current Clerk-Recorder Debi Cooper not seeking election to the position, Kristin Connelly and Vicki Gordon emerged as the top two in a four-candidate race in June. One of the two is set to be elected to the position by voters this November.

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) is facing off against republican challenger Joe Rubay (R-Alamo) for her District 16 seat, with incumbent Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) facing Green Party challenger Michael Kerr.

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