Candidates flood local races

Filing period could be extended for mayor, council, airport board

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Candidates flood local racesWhile the official filing period for local candidates closes today, several races could be extended by five business days if incumbents do not complete the process by deadline.

Filing closed last night for the two-year mayor seat and the two available four-year seats on the Ridgecrest City Council.

At press time, four candidates had been verified by Kern County Elections Division for the mayor seat — Tom Wiknich, Eric Bruen, Christian West and Lindsey Stephens.

However, since Mayor Peggy Breeden did not file for the office, challengers now have until Aug. 12 to complete the nomination process.

Potential candidates must contact City Clerk Ricca Charlon at 760-499-5002 or rcharlon@ridgecrest-ca.gov to initiate the process (which is closed to in-person inquiries because of COVID restrictions.)

A total of six challengers had filed by press time for the two four-year seats council race — including Christian Aguirre, Steven Morgan, Kyle Blades and Solomon Rajaratnam, each of whom has been verified by the council. Lori Acton and Bryan Motteshard had also pulled papers, though were still circulating petitions according to the latest update from City Hall.

Since incumbent Lindsey Stephens has filed for the mayor seat, this gives challengers for council race the same extension of Aug. 12 to complete the filing process.

Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Education has three seats up for election this November.

At press time, incumbents Bill Farris and Michael Scott, along with challenger Darrell E. Eddins Sr., have filed for the two four-year seats.

The two-year seat, which will complete the original term of the late Amy Covert, is contested by L. Scott Garver and Thomas Chad Houck.

Since all incumbents have filed, the period for SSUSD races will not be extended.

So far, five candidates have filed for the three available four-year terms on the IWV Water District Board of Directors — incumbents Ron Kicinski and Chuck Cordell, along with challengers Mallory Boyd, Chuck Griffin and Andrew Guetzkow.

Unless, incumbent Don Cortichiato files by deadline tonight, the filing period for water board will also be extended for challengers.

According to the county elections office, incumbent Paul Valovich and challengers Chip Holloway and Richard Bruce had pulled papers for the three seats on the IWV Airport District Board of Directors.

If the two remaining incumbents do not file by tonight, the filing period will also be extended for the airport board.

At press time, no one had filed to serve on the Inyokern Community Services District Board of Directors.

For information about county offices, contact 661-868-3590.

Story First Published: 2020-08-07