Nine candidates vie for city government seats
Three Davids and a pair of brothers challenge incumbents
LANCASTER, Calif.—Nine candidates, including incumbents R. Rex Parris, Sandra Johnson and Ken Mann, have thrown their hats into the ring for open seats in the city government, and this will be the first election under the new Lancaster city charter.
The election is April 10. Two City Council seats and the mayor’s slot are open. In order to win office, a candidate must garner the majority of votes cast. The winners will be sworn-in on April 24.
As with many municipal elections around the state, Lancaster struggles with low voter turnout. According to a June 2010 report, there are 65,600 registered voters in the city, but only 13,187 cast ballots in the 2010 election. More than half of those (6,437) were by mail.
Under its new charter designation, which was approved by 73 percent of the electorate in 2010, the city is exploring the concept and reality of all-mail voting.
Mayor Parris will face three opponents for the new charter-mandated four-year term. He was first elected in 2008, and has already served two, two-year terms.
The other candidates are retiree David Paul, former mayoral candidate David Abber (2000) and newcomer David Grajeda.
On the Council side, incumbents Sandra Johnson—who was appointed in October 2011 to fill a term left vacant, when former Council member Sherry Marquez resigned—and Ken Mann have both qualified to run and will face three challengers as well.
Johnson is CEO and founder of the University of Antelope Valley, and Mann is a restaurant business consultant, who has been on the council since April 2008.
Their opponents are retired healthcare administrator Michael P. Rives; John T. Kiramis, former mayor of Foster City and a retired police lieutenant, and Isaac Grajeda, a teacher/writer/musician and brother of mayoral candidate David Grajeda.
David Abber, a candidate for mayor of Lancaster, describes his attempt to unseat incumbent R. Rex Parris as a David-versus-Goliath contest.
The other two Davids—David Grajeda and David Paul—would most likely agree with Abber.
Although, many in the community have voiced displeasure with the way Parris runs the city, the lawyer is currently vying for his third term in office, and for the Feb. 26 to March 24 reporting period, he collected nearly $16,000 in non-monetary donations to help his campaign.
Lancaster is a community whose weather and affordable housing attracts people to settle in and put down roots. That was definitely the case for City Council candidates John T. Kiramis and Michael P. Rives, who moved to the high-desert city four and five years ago, respectively.
As they observed the city government in their newly adopted hometown, the two realized there was a need for change.
Although Women’s History Month has its roots in a labor movement that took place in March 1857, when female factory workers in New York staged protests over working conditions, today working conditions for women have changed considerably, and there are a significant number of women CEOs and business owners in the workplace.
A February 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that as of 2007, women owned 7.8 million businesses, and revenues from those businesses were a staggering $1.2 trillion.
The Antelope Valley Healthcare District consist of Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH), which is a non-designated public hospital run by a six-member board of directors. They are elected to four-year staggered terms, and in this election three of the six seats are up for grabs.
Six people, including incumbents Abdallah S. Farrukh, MD, a neurosurgeon, nurse-practitioner Berna Mayer and plastic surgeon John J, Manning.
LANCASTER, Calif.—Gerald Brown made history when he became the first University of Antelope Valley graduate to obtain a master’s degree at the school. The graduate of the criminal justice program walked across the stage on June 24 to unexpected praise and adoration of his peers, undergraduates and their families.