WHITTIER — Nine potential candidates have taken out petitions of candidacy for the city’s first election by district on April 12, a city clerk spokesperson said.
The deadline to file is Jan. 15.
Those taking out petitions as of Jan. 4 include Councilman Owen Newcomer and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Venatieri, as well as Ricardo Ramirez and Lee Williamson, who are circulating petitions for the two-year term as mayor along with frequent candidate and council critic Arthur Rock. Voting for mayor is citywide.
Councilwoman Cathy Warner has taken out petitions for a new four-year term in District 3, in which she lives, generally on the city’s southeast side.
Three men have taken out papers for the council seat in District 1, generally on the city’s southwest side. They are Robert Canales, David Gonzalez and Josue Alvarado.
No current incumbent lives in District 1, the spokesperson noted.
Mayor Fernando Dutra lives in District 4 and Councilman Robert Henderson in District 2. They are eligible to seek re-election in those districts in 2018, the spokesperson added.
Under the district voter plan, a candidate must live in the district he or she represents and can be elected only by voters in that district.
Residents approved the new voting system by approving a City Charter change in June 2014.
That change followed a lawsuit in which plaintiffs argued that the at-large system was unfair to minorities.
Bellflower voters face a similar election issue next November.