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Morgan Hill
July2, 2020

“No Preference’ could mean ‘No Vote’

The nearly 300,000 Santa Clara County voters registered as having “No Party Preference” will soon receive a postcard in the mail outlining what steps they need to take if they want to cast a ballot for a presidential candidate in the March...

Former 30th District Assembly GOP candidate charged with election fraud

Neil Kitchens, a Republican candidate who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the 30th District State Assembly seat in 2018, has been charged with five counts of election fraud. Kitchens pleaded not guilty at an arraignment June 27 in Monterey...

County certifies local election results

County election officials certified the results from the Nov. 6 election one month to the day, according to a Dec. 6 announcement from the Registrar of Voters. The final local turnout for the general election totaled 625,425 ballots cast,...

County in critical need of election officers

With only a few weeks until Election Day Nov. 6, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ Office is facing a critical shortage of volunteers to serve at the 849 polling places throughout the county, according to an Oct. 15 announcement.

No incumbents will run in Morgan Hill council, mayor elections

The Nov. 6 ballot will see highly contested races for the Morgan Hill City Council this election.

Updated: Short list of candidates for school board elections

*This story and candidate list was updated Aug. 6.

Nominations open for June primary election

If you have ever considered running for local office in Santa Clara County, now is your chance.Monday, Feb. 12 kicked off the nomination period for the June 5, 2018 Statewide Primary Election. The nomination period ends Friday, March 9, but can be extended to Wednesday, March 14 for contests where the eligible incumbent doesn’t file.And while local Morgan Hill offices won’t appear on the ballot until November, City Council incumbent Rich Constantine has signaled he might run for mayor, and former two-term Councilwoman Marilyn Librers has tossed her hat back into the ring.Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey urged candidates running for office in June to call the Candidate Services Division at (408) 299-8639 or come to the office in order to review forms and requirements for successful filing.“There is no leeway in the filing deadline,” Bushey said. “It is always best to file nomination papers as early as possible so that any incorrect forms may be corrected before the filing deadline, which in most cases cannot be extended.”District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who represents Morgan Hill, said he intends to run for reelection.“It’s been my privilege to represent South County on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors,” Wasserman said. “I am seeking reelection in June 2018 and have been honored to receive a strong outpouring of support from local leaders in education, public safety, business, agriculture, and community members who share my passion for improving our county.”The following federal, state, and county offices are up for election in June:GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateControllerTreasurerAttorney GeneralInsurance CommissionerSuperintendent of Public InstructionState Board of Equalization, District 2U.S. SenatorU.S. Representative District 17 (incumbent Ro Khanna)U.S. Representative District 18 (incumbent Anna Eshoo)U.S. Representative District 19 (incumbent Zoe Lofgren)U.S. Representative District 20 (incumbent Jimmy Panetta)State Senator District 10 (incumbent Bob Wieckowski)State Assembly District 24 (incumbent Marc Berman)State Assembly District 25 (incumbent Kansen Chu)State Assembly District 27 (incumbent Ash Kalra)State Assembly District 28 (incumbent Evan Low)State Assembly District 29 (incumbent Mark Stone)State Assembly District 30 (incumbent Anna Caballero)Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1 (incumbent Mike Wasserman)Santa Clara County Supervisor District 4 (incumbent Ken Yeager)Assessor (incumbent Larry Stone)District Attorney (incumbent Jeffrey F. Rosen)Sheriff (incumbent Laurie Smith)Judge of the Superior Court, 24 officesThe City of Morgan Hill will not participate in the June primary, and instead will hold elections for local offices in November. The nomination period for the Nov. 6 election opens July 16 and closes Aug. 10.This will be the city’s first council election in the district format. Candidates will need to reside in the districts they are seeking office in. The mayor’s seat will still be elected at large.Three seats will appear on the November ballot, including Mayor Steve Tate, District B Constantine and District D Councilwoman Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz.Jachimowicz is currently nine months pregnant and said she hasn’t decided if she’ll run to retain her seat later this year. She was appointed to her council seat in January 2017 to complete the unexpired term of former Councilmember Gordon Siebert.“I want to make sure the baby is healthy,” Jachimowicz said by phone Tuesday. “After that, I’ll be able to make some more decisions.”According to City Clerk Irma Torrez, Constantine has already filed a Form 501, candidate intention statement, to run for mayor in 2018.Constantine said that he opened a committee to explore the possibility of a mayoral run, but paperwork for a possible campaign wouldn’t be filed until June.“I think I have a lot to offer Morgan Hill in the higher capacity than just as a city councilmember,” Constantine said by phone Tuesday.Former Councilwoman Marilyn Librers also filed a Form 501 to seek an open council seat in the November 2018 election. Librers served two terms on the council from 2008 to 2016, but was defeated in the November 2016 election.Additionally, the Morgan Hill Unified School District will hold their election in November. Four trustees are up for reelection, including Donna Ruebusch, Ron Woolf, Gino Borgioli and David Gerard. Also, Claudia Rossi’s seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Trustees is also up for election in November.Candidates are encouraged to make an appointment and begin the nomination filing process as early as possible to ensure all paperwork is completed and submitted on time.For more information, contact the Registrar of Voters’ Office at (408) 299-VOTE or toll-free at (866) 430-VOTE, or visit sccvote.org.

Hendrickson becomes first candidate to enter Persky recall election

Cindy Seeley Hendrickson, a candidate who recently opened a campaign to replace Judge Aaron Persky in the potential recall election in June 2018, will be on hand for a community meet-and-greet at 5pm tonight at Huntington Station. (50 E. Third St.)

Letter to the editor: District elections are an insult

I would like to join the many voters in Morgan Hill that agree with John McKay’s “Our Town” commentary (from the Sept. 15 edition of the Morgan Hill Times) regarding district elections. Not only is district voting a travesty, but it is an insult to every voter in our city!We do not need to be told how to vote or who to vote for. The fact is, our city council has enjoyed amazing representation of the diversity of Morgan Hill. When we had a choice to vote someone out of council and vote for a new candidate, we did. This district voting scheme is just that: another way for losing candidates to force themselves on the voting public!Look at what has happened at the Morgan Hill Unified School District! In the last election, we had one district with only one candidate, because other very qualified candidates lived outside that district.District elections narrow our choices and may very well force the voters to send an unqualified candidate to office.On the MHUSD board, we have a split board that rarely, if ever agrees with one another, and we have a board member that we know very little about that ran unopposed from her district. We, in Morgan Hill, deserve better than this on our school board and at city council!Please don’t insult our intelligence with district elections and term limits. Let the voters decide who is best qualified and aligns with our values in order to address the complicated issues we face.This insult is being forced upon us because of a few losers that ran and did not win want an advantage to their losing cause.A threat of a lawsuit is a challenge, not a reason to roll over and give these losers an advantage. Shame on us!Ever Onward,Swanee EdwardsMorgan Hill

Districts drawn for new city elections system

The next time Morgan Hill residents vote in a municipal election, they will only select a single choice for city council among candidates who reside within the newly established voting district where they live.As of Sept. 6, there are now four city council districts in Morgan Hill—equal in population—each to be represented by a single councilmember who lives inside that district. At the Sept. 6 meeting—after a series of public meetings and workshops and perusing more than a dozen draft maps created by a professional demographer and Morgan Hill citizens—the council approved a four-district map that will apply until the 2020 U.S. Census.This is a stark change from the way local voters have elected council members since the city was incorporated in 1906. Until now, councilmembers have always served the city on an at-large basis, and voters have typically voted for two councilmembers in each regular election (roughly every two years).Earlier this summer, the council begrudgingly approved the new by-district election system in response to a demand letter threatening a lawsuit under the California Voting Rights Act.Although councilmembers dislike the new system, they approved a district map that considers traditional specific neighborhood interests and protects the voting rights of all minority groups.“We tried to keep communities of interest and neighborhoods together. It’s not perfect, and it’s going to be really hard now to get good qualified candidates to run for city council,” Mayor Pro Tem Larry Carr said.The map approved by the council keeps current councilmembers (not including the mayor) in separate districts. Demographer Doug Johnson, who the city hired to help guide the council and the public through the districting process, said this is a common practice among agencies required to draw new districts because it respects the electorate’s desire to be able to choose the incumbents.The by-district system will start with the November 2018 election, when the seats occupied by Councilmembers Rich Constantine and Caitlin Jachimowicz will be on the ballot.Constantine’s district, labeled “District B” on the map, cuts a swath down the middle of Morgan Hill from the northern to the southern city limits. Jachimowicz’ district, known as “District D,” occupies the eastern side of Morgan Hill.The seats occupied by Councilmembers Larry Carr and Rene Spring will be elected within the new districts starting with the November 2020 election.“District A,” where Carr resides, goes from a corner of downtown Morgan Hill southwest past West Middle Avenue. “District C,” where Spring lives, occupies northwest Morgan Hill.The mayor’s seat will continue to be elected at large under the new system.Three of the districts contain at least a small geographic portion of downtown Morgan Hill, a neighborhood where councilmembers say many different interests for residents from all over the city coincide.In May, the council received a demand letter from Oakland law firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, alleging that the city’s traditional at-large system violates the CVRA because it limits the influence of minority groups.The firm was hired by local Latino residents Armando Benavides, Sally Casas and Brenda Cayme. Benavides has previously run for Morgan Hill City Council and the Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Trustees. In 2012, he was also involved in the effort to force MHUSD to switch from an at-large to a by-district system.Cayme has previously run for MHUSD trustee as well.By approving the change, the council aimed to protect the city from a potentially costly civil rights lawsuit. But it also forced the city to fast track the process of notifying the public and creating four new districts equal in population, without gerrymandering.Residents were encouraged to use online mapmaking tools provided by Johnson’s company, National Demographics Corporation, to draw districts for the council’s consideration. Six residents submitted such maps. The map ultimately approved by the council was proposed by NDC.“I continue to be disappointed that a couple of disgruntled people who have not been able to win an election in Morgan Hill have forced this on us,” Carr added. “I don’t think district elections will improve representation for anyone in Morgan Hill, and it will bring some unintended consequences we will have to work through.”