SAN LEANDRO — The races for the next City Council election already are starting to heat up, with two of the seats expected to have multiple candidates on the ballot in June.

On Monday, the day the campaign filing period officially began, six people — including council members Joyce Starosciak and Jim Prola — filed papers to contest the seats in Districts 2, 4 and 6, according to campaign records.

The District 4 seat, which Starosciak has held since 2005, may be the only one uncontested. As she runs for her second term on the council, no one has stepped up yet to oppose her.

The races for the other two seats, however, appear wide open.

So far, Hermy Almonte, Estelle Clemons and Prola have filed candidate intention statements — forms required before any candidate can begin fundraising — for the District 6 seat.

Almonte, a regional property supervisor, and Clemons, an Oakland planner, bid unsuccessfully for the District 6 seat last year, when the council appointed Prola.

Wafaa Aborashed, executive director of the Healthy San Leandro Collaborative, who ran for District 6 in 2004 and the appointment last year, also has said she intends to run for the seat."I hope it becomes a good fight," Aborashed said Monday. "We need people to get out oftheir boxes and create value for this position."

Vice Mayor Surlene Grant will be termed out of her seat in December.


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District 2, which she has represented for nearly 10 years, also looks to be a hotly contested seat.

Ursula Reed, who now serves on the city's Library-Historical Commission, and San Leandro schools Trustee Linda Perry, who served two terms on the council from 1988 to 1996 and is now president of the Halcyon-Foothill Homeowners Association, have filed statements of intent.

Charles Gilcrest, a Board of Zoning Adjustments member and well-known political consultant, is expected to run for the seat, as well.

But it is Reed who has received Grant's blessing to succeed her on the council.

"I'm endorsing Ursula because she is committed to this community, she is vested in it, and she wants to see positive things happen in San Leandro," Grant said. "When I selected her to be on the Library Commission, I did so because of her experience working with young people.

"I see that as a value because the city is changing, not only in demographics but also in trends. And we need to have some new, fresh ideas."

Some of the candidates also seem to be loading their campaign guns early.

The latest campaign finance disclosures show that Starosciak raised $14,592 last year and spent $3,027 — about $1,500 of which was spent on a re-election campaign event at the Hilton Garden Inn.

She had $12,201 in campaign funds as of Dec. 31, according to campaign records.

Prola raised $10,063 last year — $2,100 in contributions and an $8,000 loan to himself — and spent $36 during the reporting period.

Aborashed also had $2,043 left over from her previous campaign.