IWV races take shape

Four of six boards to be decided in November

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

IWV races take shapeWith the filing period for all local offices now closed, ballot items for local races on the November General Election have now been finalized. Here is the breakdown of candidates for Indian Wells Valley offices:

- Mayor and Ridgecrest City Council -

Thomas Wiknich, Eric Bruen, Christian West and Lindsey Stephens have all been verified by Kern County Elections Division as qualified candidates for the two-year mayor seat.

Because sitting mayor Peggy Breeden did not file for re-election, the filing period was extended from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12 for challengers.

Verified candidates for the two available four-year seats on the Ridgecrest City Council are Christian Aguirre, Steven Morgan, Kyle Blades, Solomon Rajaratnam and Lori Acton.

Bryan Motteshard also pulled papers for the race, but was not verified for candidacy by the county, according to the city.

- IWV Water District Board of Directors -

The water board race was also extended to Aug. 12, offering challengers additional time to file since incumbent Don Cortichiato is not seeking re-election.

According to the county elections clerk, the “unofficial” list of final candidates for three available four-year seats include incumbents Ron Kicinski and Charles Cordell, along with challengers Chuck Griffin, Andrew Guetzkow and Mallory Boyd.

- Sierra Sands Unified School District Board of Education -

The two four-year seats will be contested by incumbents Bill Farris and Mike Scott, along with challenger Darrell Eddins Sr. Eloy Manuel Rodriguez, who had originally pulled papers, did not complete the filing process.

A two-year seat, which would complete the term left vacant by the late Amy Covert, will be filled by Chad Houck. Scott Garver withdrew from the race before the close of the filing period. Since the race is uncontested, Houck will be appointed to the seat.

- IWV Airport District -

The airport board race will not go on the ballot, since only three candidates pulled papers for the three available four-year seats. Incumbent Paul Valovich, along with challengers Richard Bruce and Chip Holloway, are expected to be appointed to the board.

Incumbents Steven Morgan and Axel Alvarez did not file for re-election.

Inyokern Community Services District

Because no candidates filed for the CSD, these offices will not go on the November ballot, either. Currently, Terry Lyster, Walter Thomas Ernst and Roger Cline are serving the three four-year terms. The CSD board will appoint individuals to fill the seat.

See related story (news-ridgecrest.com/news/story.pl?id=0000011678) for information on how to register to vote.

Pictured: City Clerk Ricca Charlon reviews the final list of candidates for council and mayor just before the filing period closed on Wednesday evening. - Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-08-14