Candidates file for local races

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Candidates file for local racesCandidates have begun to trickle in for the six offices up for election this fall.

Anyone seeking office for Ridgecrest Mayor, Ridgecrest City Council, IWV Water District Board of Directors, Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Trustees, the IWV Airport Board of Directors or the Inyokern Community Services District has until Aug. 6, 2020, to complete the filing process.

So far, Thomas Wiknich and Eric Bruen have pulled papers to run for the two-year mayor seat. Christian Aguirre, Steven Morgan and appointee Kyle Blades have pulled papers for the two available four-year seats on the council.

Incumbent Ron Kicinski has filed to run for one of the three available seats on the water board. Incumbent Bill Farris has filed to run for one of two four-year seats on the school board. No one has filed yet for the two-year seat on the school board.

Incumbent Paul Valovich has put in a bid for one of three four-year seats on the airport board. No one has filed yet for the three open seats on the CSD.

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.

Anyone interested in running for mayor or council must make an appointment with City Clerk Ricca Charlon. She can be contacted at 760-499-5002 or rcharlon@ridgecrest-ca.gov.

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 www.ridgecrest-ca.gov.

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.”

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

Story First Published: 2020-07-24