Thursday, January 21, 2021

Election Season: How to Run for City Council or CUSD Board & Who’s Running

Editor's Note: This article will be updated to include additional candidates that have announced that they are running for an elected position. See chart at the bottom.

Current events are emotionally and politically charged right now. For those who are ready to take action, now is the time. Whether you want to run for a position on a council or board, or you want to encourage a friend or neighbor to run, getting involved in the decision making in your community is one way to make a difference. November 3, 2020 is election day and the filing period to get on the ballot runs through August 7, 2020.

Coronado City Council

Coronado City Council

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Two full term, four year seats will be open on city council: elected in 2016, both Mike Donovan and Whitney Benzian’s terms expire. Benzian is not seeking reelection.

Donovan has not made a formal announcement about his plans yet, but has completed all necessary paperwork to run for re-election.

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Former Mayor Casey Tanaka shared that “with excitement and a little bit of anxiety, I am ready to announce that I will be a candidate for the Coronado City Council.”

Candidates have until August 7, 2020 to file nomination paperwork with the city. Requirements are that the candidate must be a citizen of the United States of America and a resident and registered voter in the City of Coronado.

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Prospective candidates must circulate a nomination petition and obtain at least 20 valid signatures of resident voters to qualify for the ballot. Nomination petitions may be circulated beginning Monday, July 13, 2020, and must be filed with the City Clerk’s office before 5 pm on Friday, August 7.

At the time of publication, Mike Donovan is the only person who has completed necessary paperwork to run as a candidate for City Council.

See the complete calendar of events, deadlines and information on how to file here. You can find additional election information on the city website.

Coronado Mayor

The office of mayor is up for election this year. Current Mayor Richard Bailey is seeking reelection. All requirements for city council seats are also required for the mayoral position as the mayor is a member of city council.

At the time of publication, Richard Bailey is the only person who has completed necessary paperwork to run as a candidate for mayor.

Coronado Unified School District Governing Board

Coronado Unified School District Governing Board

School Board – Maria Simon and Julie Russell’s terms are ending and neither is seeking reelection. This opens up two positions, each a four year term. To apply, candidates will need to complete a 200 word statement of qualifications and pay and estimated $598. Whitney Antrim recently announced that she is running for School Board.

The candidate filing period is July 13 through August 7, 2020. Candidates are strongly encouraged to request filing of candidacy paperwork to be emailed or mailed to them. Paperwork can be requested here. The complete Candidate Filing Guide can be found here.

Any person is eligible to run for office if he/she is 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the state, a resident of the school district, a registered voter, and not legally disqualified from holding civil office. Employees of the District who are residents are permitted to apply but may not continue employment with the District if elected.

Write In Candidates

Election code designates the write-in candidate window this year to fall between Sept. 7 and Oct. 20. The process is similar to nomination during the normal period. Someone interested should be a registered Coronado voter and make an appointment with City Clerk Jennifer Ekblad. She would issue a nomination form and the individual would need 20 registered Coronado voters to sign. Once the necessary signatures and papers are obtained, the nomination would go through the registrar and verification process. A write-in candidate does not have a ballot book statement or designation and is still subject to campaign finance disclosure. Write-in candidate names need to be written exactly as nominated.

Register to Vote

Even if you are not interested in running for election, make sure you are registered to vote! Register to vote, or confirm you are registered here.

Editor’s Note: This article will be updated as needed to include additional candidates that have announced that they are running for an elected position. See below:

2020 Mayoral Candidates (one)
Richard Bailey
2020 City Council Candidates (two seats available)
Casey Tanaka
John Duncan
Tim Rohan
Mike Donovan
2020 CUSD Governing Board (two seats available)
Whitney N. Antrim
Nick Kato
Stacy Keszei
Alexia Palacios-Peters
Mike Canada


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Alyssa K. Burns
Alyssa is a graduate of Coronado High School and was in the founding broadcast journalism class at CHS. She earned her BA in Communication from CSU East Bay and completed her MBA from CSU San Marcos. Her passion for writing and interest in the behind the scenes of business, leads her to write frequently about Coronado businesses. You can find Alyssa walking around the ferry landing with her husband and shih-tzu terrier or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Coronado's favorite cafes.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: