Candidate filing period opens soon

COVID-19 changes filing process

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Candidate filing  period opens soonThe filing period for candidates opens July 13 and runs through Aug. 6, for anyone seeking office on the Ridgecrest City Council, IWV Water District Board of Directors, Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Trustees and IWV Airport Board of Directors.

While the qualifications of running for office — age, residency and petition of support — remain the same, COVID-19 impacts have sparked changes in the process for obtaining nomination papers.

The two-year mayor seat, currently held by Peggy Breeden, as well as two four-year terms on the council, held by electee Lindsey Stephens and appointee Kyle Blades, will be up for a vote.

Those interested in becoming a candidate must make an appointment with City Clerk Ricca Charlon. She can be contacted at 760-499-5002 or starting July 7 to schedule interviews.

City candidates are required to obtain signatures of 20 registered voters in the city of Ridgecrest on their official nomination papers. Candidates are charged a filing fee of $25, due when completed nomination papers are submitted.

Additional information can be found on the city’s “Candidate & Campaign Information” page at

Nomination papers for all other local offices must be submitted with the Kern County Elections Division. Historically, members of election staff come to Ridgecrest on one day during the open filing period to allow paperwork to be picked up, completed and submitted on the same day without traveling to the Bakersfield office.

However, Acting Division Chief Laura Cantu said that their protocols have changed, as well.

“In order to protect the health and safety of the candidates and our staff, we will not be traveling to Ridgecrest. This year, candidate filing will be conducted in our office by appointment only.”

Local offices up for reelection, under the purview of the county, include three four-year terms on the airport board (currently held by Axel Alvarez, Steven Morgan and Paul Valovich), two four-year terms on the school board (currently held by Bill Farris and Mike Scott), one two-year seat to complete the term of the late Amy Castillo-Covert, and three four-year terms on the water board (currently held by Chuck Cordell, Don Cortichiato and Ron Kicinski).

Additional information for filing in one of those races is available at

Pictured: City Clerk Ricca Charlon

Story First Published: 2020-06-26