Below are biographies of the eight candidates running for Pleasant Hill City Council in the Nov. 6 election.

Jim Bonato

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired as vice president of California Optical Corp.; retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a colonel

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Currently Pleasant Hill planning commissioner; Pleasant Hill Economic Development Committee; Contra Costa County Civil Grand Jury; president of Pleasant Hill Fourth of July Commission; Contra Costa County Cities Citizen Corps/CERT Committee; program manager and steering committee chairman for the Pleasant Hill Community Emergency Response Team

Personal background: Married for 42 years to Sandy Bonato (Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District board member); three children -- Emily, 38, Dan, 34, Julie, 32

Education: Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of San Francisco; graduate of the United States Army War College

Jessica Braverman

Age: 50

Occupation: Mediator/attorney/labor relations in private practice in Pleasant Hill

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Neighborhood Watch captain; volunteer settlement conference mentor for Contra Costa County Superior Court; ambassador of the year 2008 Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce; founder of "Brown Bag" lunch series for the chamber

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Mills College, Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law

Ken Carlson

Age: 50

Occupation: Police officer in Concord, 23 years

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Traffic investigator, responsible for investigating and reconstructing major injury and fatal traffic collisions; active in the Concord Police Association, serving on the executive board as president and chairing the Political Action Committee

Personal background: Three daughters, Kayla, 23, Karrissa, 21, and Brittney, 18

Education: Bachelor of Arts in communications/journalism from Brigham Young University

Jeremy Cloward

Age: 41

Occupation: Professor of government at Diablo Valley College

Personal background: Wife Laurie, children Makenna and Mason

Education: Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University

David Durant

Age: 50

Occupation: Attorney

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Elected to City Council in 1999; Contra Costa Transportation Authority board member; Contra Costa Airport Land Use commissioner; former planning commissioner and Redevelopment Advisory Committee member

Personal background: Wife, Cindy, children Tim and Kim

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University, Juris Doctor from University of Chicago

Tim Flaherty

Age: 55

Occupation: Attorney

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Current Pleasant Hill planning commissioner; chairman of Pleasant Hill Civic Action Commission; chairman of Pleasant Hill 50th Anniversary Committee; 2011 Pleasant Hill Citizen of the Year; 2010 Pleasant Hill Mayor's Award

Personal background: Divorced, two children, Tim Jr. and Brianna

Education: Bachelor of Arts in government from University of San Francisco, Juris Doctor from University of San Francisco

Michael Flake

Age: 45

Occupation: Civil Engineer

Professional background/occupation/elected history: Pleasant Hill Citizens Advisory Commission on Redevelopment; Pleasant Hill General Plan task force; Citizens Advisory Committee to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority

Personal background: Married

Education: Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from University of California, Davis

Matthew Rinn

Age: 40

Occupation: Owner of the Matthew Rinn State Farm Insurance Agency

Professional background/occupation/elected history: President of the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce; Pleasant Hill Economic Development Committee

Personal background: Wife, Ashley; daughters Madison, 5, and Emily, 4