ALAMEDA COUNTY — With less than a week to go before Friday's filing deadline, some fields are filling up in greater Hayward area races, with interest particularly strong in San Leandro and San Lorenzo elections.
San Leandro voters for the first time will use an instant runoff voting system in November's elections, which allows them to rank candidates by preference. Voters will have plenty of choices in the city's crowded mayoral race: Five candidates so far have picked up nomination papers. Incumbent Mayor Tony Santos is facing Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak, former school board trustee Stephen Cassidy, rapper and activist Sara Mestas and perennial candidate Lou Filipovich.
Three council seats are up for grabs. In San Leandro's District 1, incumbent Councilman Michael Gregory faces David Anderson. In District 3, so far no one has taken out nomination papers to challenge incumbent Councilwoman Diana Souza. In District 5, Councilman Bill Stephens has been termed out. Three candidates so far are competing for his seat: Corina Lopez, Ted Kai and school board Trustee Pauline Cutter.
Three seats are up in the San Leandro Unified School District elections. In Trustee Area 2, Lance James and Victoria Wang are running for Cutter's seat. In Trustee Area 4, Board President Mike Katz-Lacabe is facing Latrina Dumas. In Trustee Area 6, Herlinda Morales has taken out nomination papers. Incumbent Trustee Lisa Hague has yet to take out papers.
In addition, San Leandro voters will decide on whether to raise their sales tax from 9.75 to 10 percent, and on a $50 million bond measure to provide funding for modernizing school sports facilities.
Three seats also are available on the Hayward Unified School District board — two four-year spots and one for a two-year term. Incumbent Sheila Sims is the sole candidate so far for a four-year seat, while appointed trustee Jesus Armas has filed and Annette Hoffman-Walker has taken out papers to run for the half-term.
In San Lorenzo, there will be competition for seats on both the school board and sanitary district board.
Both incumbents in the school board race, Isabel Polvorosa and Helen Randall, are seeking re-election. Newcomers who have taken out nomination papers are Stacy Santos Blom, Rebecca Olivera and Elliot Schneider. Blom and Schneider have filed and are certified as candidates. Gene Judson, who lost his bid to seek re-election in 2008 to current trustee Jim Sherman, also has pulled nomination papers.
The Oro Loma Sanitary District race has five candidates who have filed so far for three open seats. Candidates include incumbents Timothy Becker, Howard Kerr and Frank Sidari. New candidates are Larry Johnson and former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young. Resident Dan Walters also has pulled nomination papers but had yet to file as of Friday evening.
Meanwhile in Castro Valley, incumbents appear to be the only residents interested so far in the school board and sanitary district board races.
Two seats are up for election for the Castro Valley Unified School District Board of Education. Trustees Janice Friesen and George Granger have pulled papers with Friesen having filed as a candidate.
The Castro Valley Sanitary District also has two seats up for election for its board of directors. Both Harry Francis and Ralph Johnson have filed and are seeking re-election.
In the Eden Township Healthcare District race, incumbents Carole Rogers and William West are seeking re-election. So far, Susan Reisz and Jeff Rosier are the challengers.
Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District board President Paul Hodges has taken out papers and incumbent Carol Pereira has filed, for two available seats.
The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District board has three seats up for election. Incumbents Isobel Dvorsky, Trustee Area 2 for San Leandro, Donald Gelles, Trustee Area 4 for Castro Valley and areas of Oakland, and Hal Gin, Trustee Area 6 for Hayward and San Lorenzo, have filed and are seeking re-election.
The Fairview Fire Protection District has three seats up for election. No residents have taken out nomination papers as of Friday.
Candidates for elective office must be at least 18 at the time of the election and a resident of the city or district for which they are running. To run for San Leandro City Council, contact the City Clerk's office at 510-510-577-3367.
For other races, contact the Alameda County Registrar of Voters at 510-272-6973 or visit the Registrar at 1225 Fallon St., Oakland.