Candidates file for candidacy in advance of Kern County Elections Dept. Friday Deadline


The deadline passed Friday for anyone hoping to file their candidacy for local races across Kern County. 17 News was at the Dept. of Elections offices in Downtown Bakersfield Friday as last-minute candidates filed to run in advance of the deadline. The Kern County Elections Office said Friday nobody would be allowed to file for certain races following the 5 p.m. deadline. 

KGET obtained an unofficial list Friday from the Kern county Elections Department consisting of state-wide and local races and candidates. The list includes more than 150 races county-wide and provides the names of candidates hoping to win seats in local contests for congress, state senate, and state assembly, among others. Also featured on the list are races  for water, irrigation, and school districts in communities across the county including Mojave, Frazier park, and Delano.

Key Races:

Democrat T.J Cox is challenging incumbent Congressman, David Valadao, for the 21st district. Valadao is a two-term member of Congress, while Cox is an engineer.

In the race for the 23rd congressional district, House of Representatives Republican Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, is going up against Tatiana Matta, who’s official campaign website describes her as the owner of a “consulting business.” If Rep. McCarthy wins the race, and if Republicans keep a majority in the House, he could go on to become the next speaker.

The race for the state senate 16th district includes former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove. Grove, a Republican, will face former Needles City Councilmember, Ruth Musser-Lopez, a Democrat. The two will battle it out for the largest state-senate district in the state.

In the 32nd assembly district, Democrat Assemblymember, Rudy Salas, is challenged by Republican Hanford City Councilman Justin Mendes. Salas finished slightly on top in the polls during June’s primary election. Meanwhile, voters in the 34th assembly district will have the option to vote for freshman Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong or Democrat Nick Nicita. Nicita, an audio engineer, is employed by the Westchester Lanes bowling alley and bar. 

Four candidates are in the running for the Supervisorial 2nd district, including incumbent Zack Scrivner, Tehachapi rancher Dalmas “Dall” Bunn, Bakersfield teacher, Whitney Wedell, and California State Park heavy equipment operator Michael Biglay. 3rd Supervisorial District incumbent, Mike Maggard, is facing a challenge from Bakersfield firefighter Jeff Heinle. The district includes Oildale and portions of North Bakersfield.

After a Judge ordered last month that the 4th Supervisorial district lines be changed and a special election take place this November, three candidates have filed papers to run. Delano Mayor, Grace Vallejo, and Lamont Chamber of Commerce President Jose Gonzalez hope to defeat one another and unseat incumbent David Counch. The winner will serve out the remainder of the term until 2020.

In the race for City Council Ward 1, Willie Rivera will face against contractor Marvin Dean and Gilberto De La Torre. Incumbent City Councilmember, Bob Smith, of Ward 4 is challenged by Bakersfield resident Ernest Oliver.

Incumbent Ken Weir of Ward 3 will face off against Salvador Lopez Willingham, while Chris Parlier of Ward 7 is running unopposed.

There are additional races across Kern County where zero candidates have filed to run. The County Registrar confirms with 17 news a deadline has been extended through Aug. 15 for anyone wishing to run for those seats. This extended deadline does not apply to incumbents, according to the Kern County Elections Office. The below list encompasses those races in alphabetical order:

– Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency
– Belridge School Board Member – short term
– Belridge School Board member – full term
– General Shafter School District Board Member – short term
– Gorman Joint Union School District Board Member
– Kern Community College District, Board Member #5
– Lost Hills Utility District Director,-short term
– Mountain Meadows Community Services District Director – short term
– Muroc Joint Unified School District, Area 2, Seat C – short term    
– Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District Director, Divison 1
– Tehachapi Unified School District, Area 3 Seat E

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