County to use an all-mail special election to select next supervisor

A vacancy on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will be filled through an all-mail special election to take place May 3, a move that will save around $500,000, officials said this week.

The election has been triggered by the impending departure of District 1 Supervisor Mark Church, who was elected as county assessor-clerk-recorder and chief elections officer Nov. 2. He will take over from current officeholder Warren Slocum on Jan. 3.

Holding a special election using polling places would have cost the county about $1.6 million, Elections Manager David Tom said, whereas an all-mail election will be around $1.1 million.

Several candidates have already confirmed plans to run for Church’s seat, including Millbrae City Councilor Gina Papan, San Mateo County Community College District board member Richard Holober, San Mateo Union High School District board member Dave Pine and Burlingame City Councilor Terry Nagel.

Church has spent just more than two years in his third term as a supervisor. A measure that passed in November requires a special election anytime a supervisor leaves office in the first 33½ months of a term.

District 1 encompasses South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae,­ San Francisco International Airport, Burlingame and Hillsborough. Candidates must live within its boundaries, though all eligible San Mateo County residents are able to vote for supervisors in each of the Peninsula’s five districts.

County elections officials have said they plan to conduct an extensive public education campaign to inform voters about the all-mail election.

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