Filing kicks off election season

More than 70 local races will be decided when voters go to the polls this November, and battle lines are already being drawn.

Today marks the opening of the candidate filing period for municipal, school district and county-wide special district races in San Mateo County. The period runs through 5 p.m. on August 11 unless no incumbent in a race files, in which case the deadline for that race is extended until 5 p.m. on August 16.

One of the more hotly contested races on the Peninsula promises to be one of the three four-year terms on the Daly City Council, where no elected incumbent has ever been defeated.

Council Members Maggie Gomez and Carol Klatt and Mayor Mike Guingona are all up for reelection, and challenges are already brewing as challenger Leah Berlanga, a previous council candidate, prepares to file with the endorsement of Guingona and Klatt.

Guingona could not be reached for comment, and Klatt wouldn’t comment on her non-endorsement of a fellow council member, wishing Gomez only “the best of luck.”

Gomez said that the council has not been working as a team these last four years.”It’s going to be contentious,” Gomez said. “There are some [members] that are downright nasty and vindictive.”

Berlanga said that she has a legup on competition as the former president of the Daly City Council of Homeowners and Residents Association.

“I have the support of the community folks, which, to me, is the most valuable support you can get,” she said.

August 11 is also the deadline for filing local ballot measures for the election this November.

Along with the more then 70 races, the County Elections office is expecting nearly a dozen local ballot measures to make their way onto November ballots, along with a large number of state measures.

Helping prospective candidates learn about the campaign process, the County Elections office held a candidate information seminar July 12, with another scheduled for July 29. These seminars are designed to educate potential candidates about campaign rules, procedures and deadlines.

dsmith@examiner.com

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