MONTEREY COUNTY — Voters in South Monterey County will be choosing multiple candidates running for city councils, school boards and other special district governing bodies as well as deciding on a few local measures in the upcoming Nov. 8 General Election.

City Councils and Mayors

King City will have a relatively quiet election this November, as current Councilmember Darlene Acosta and Mayor Mike LeBarre are running unopposed for city council seats in Districts 1 and 2, respectively.

In Greenfield, which has now transitioned to district elections, two city council positions are available with four candidates running: incumbents Drew Tipton and Angela Untalon for District 1, and bookkeeper Rachel Ortiz and write-in candidate Maria Alvarado for District 3.

Three mayoral candidates are also competing to be Greenfield’s next mayor: current Councilmembers Yanely Martinez and Robert “Bob” White and write-in candidate Ivan Reyes. Current Greenfield Mayor Lance Walker is not seeking re-election.

City of Soledad has two city council positions up for election, with incumbents Alejandro Chavez and Marisela Lara competing to keep their seats from educator Fernando Cabrera.

Soledad Mayor Anna Velazquez is running for another term, this time against new Councilmember Maria Corralejo, who joined the council in September to fill a vacated seat.

Four candidates are vying for three spots on the Gonzales City Council: incumbents Elizabeth Silva and Lorraine Worthy, former mayor Maria Orozco and public works supervisor Sean Schmidt. Current Councilmember Paul Miller is not running for re-election.

Gonzales Mayor Jose Rios is seeking re-election, and will compete against special education director Alberto Jaramillo.

School Boards

San Ardo Union Elementary School District has three board member positions available, with incumbents Kaeda Barrios, Eugene Duggins and Tiffini Moore and teacher Alma Morfin Olivera on the ballot.

In Greenfield, six candidates are vying for three seats on the Greenfield Union School District Board: incumbents Denise Jaime and David Kong, program coordinator/student Elizabeth DeJesus, caregiver Beatriz Diaz, student Wilfredo Martinez and retired law enforcement officer Juergen Smith.

One board member position will be decided for Gonzales Unified School District, with incumbent Araceli Flores competing against retired police officer Patrick Askew for Trustee Area 2.

In Chualar, four candidates are running for two positions for the Chualar Union Elementary School District Board Member Trustee Area 3: incumbent Esperanza “Hope” Rangel, educator Patricia Camacho, newcomer Domingo Rangel and governing board member Rebecca Trujillo.

Special Districts and Others 

Soledad Community Health Care District has two director positions up for election, with three candidates in the running: incumbent Anne Trebino, business owner Ileen Groves and high school teacher Michael “Max” Schell.

Monterey County voters will also be choosing a new sheriff/coroner, following the retirement of current Sheriff Steve Bernal at the end of the year. Sheriff’s Captain Joe Moses and Marina Police Chief Tina Nieto are the two candidates vying to become the next leader of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.

In the U.S. Congress, Republican candidate Peter Hernandez is running against Democratic candidate Zoe Lofgren for the Congressional District 18 seat, while Republican candidate Jeff Gorman is challenging Democratic Rep. Jimmy Panetta for Congressional District 19.

In the State Assembly, Republican candidate Stephanie Castro is competing against Democratic Assemblymember Robert Rivas for the District 29 seat, while Republican candidate Vicki Nohrden and Democratic candidate Dawn Addis are in the running for District 30.

Local Measures

County of Monterey has placed Measure Q on the ballot, asking voters to amend Title 5 of the county’s Code to create an annual special parcel tax of $49 on each parcel located within Monterey County in order to establish childcare in the county.

The measure would last for 10 years and generate an estimated $5.5 million annually in revenue to be used solely to increase and improve affordable childcare.

City of King is hoping to raise its local sales tax with Measure I, which would increase the current 1% rate by half a percentage point to 1.5%, generating an estimated $1.2 million annually in additional revenue.

The funds would be used for general purposes, such as public safety, street improvements, maintenance of city parks and facilities, recreation programs and establishing an emergency reserve. If approved, the measure would be subject to citizen oversight, an annual audit and expiration of the entire tax in 10 years.

City of Gonzales is asking voters to approve Measure P, an enhanced quality of life temporary tax extension. The measure would extend the term of the existing 1% Gonzales Temporary Transactions and Use Tax by 20 years, from 2044 to 2064, with all funds dedicated exclusively to city programs, projects and initiatives.

Generating an estimated $1.5 million annually, the measure would also be subject to continued independent audit and citizen’s advisory committee review.

All three measures require majority voter approval to pass.

Appointed Candidates

The following local candidates have been appointed in lieu of election due to an insufficient number of nominees for the respective governing board member positions:

  • Hartnell Community College District, Trustee Area 6: Erica Padilla Chavez 
  • Hartnell Community College District, Trustee Area 7: Candice Depauw 
  • Gonzales Unified School District, Trustee Area 3: Maria Cuevas 
  • Soledad Unified School District: Christopher Bourke and Monica Pantoja 
  • South Monterey County Joint Union High School District: Linda Benway, Paul Dake and Leslie Girard 
  • Bradley Union School District: Metelyn Vicente and Manda Wiebe 
  • Chualar Union School District, Trustee Area 1: Jorge Ramirez 
  • King City Union School District, 4-year: Teresita Garcia Zanchez, Susan King and Liduvina Paramo 
  • San Antonio Union School District: Jo Marie Carroll, Sandra Soares and Amy Sweet 
  • San Lucas Union Elementary School District: Maria Delatorre Lomeli and Natalie Ozuna 

Ballots can be returned in person to any California polling place, vote center, official ballot drop-off location or elections office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8; or by mail postmarked by Election Day and received by Nov. 15. 

For more information, or a list of ballot return locations, visit or call 831-796-1499.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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