BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As we wind down from contentious county, state and congressional primary races, we’re reminded this year’s City Council races are just getting started.
After a lively, month’s-long redistricting process, Bakersfield’s new City Council map is set for the next decade, and this year, four City Council seats will be back on the November ballot.
17 News confirmed three of four incumbents will seek re-election and the races are already starting to take shape.
In the first ward, Eric Arias will seek re-election. He’s held the seat since 2020 when he was chosen by voters to replace outgoing Councilman Willie Rivera who left half-way through his term.
In the third ward, Councilman Ken Weir will be back on the ballot. He has held the seat since 2006.
Weir is already facing a challenger in local businessman Boyd Binninger, who announced his candidacy last month.
Voters will also see the Bakersfield’s fourth ward on the November ticket, where Councilman Bob Smith will run for a fourth term.
And in Bakersfield’s seventh City Council ward, Councilman Chris Parlier, who has sat on the Council for eight years, will step down due to health concerns.
The seventh ward saw big changes in the redistricting process. The new map drawn by grassroots organization the Jakara movement unites the Sikh and Punjabi communities in the seventh ward.
Jakara movement leader and ward seven native Manpreet Kaur has already announced a run, saying she is inspired to carry on Parlier’s involvement in the community.
“He was a regular face at any of the events that we were holding, whether it’s a candlelight vigil in response to a hate crime or our annual parades,” Kaur said. “That really changed my impression of how interactive a City Council member really can be in their immediate ward and neighborhood.”
Those considering a run for a city council in Bakersfield still have until Aug. 12 to officially declare their candidacy.