For the past two weeks, since the nomination process began for the Rancho Mirage City Council election in April, it appeared the trio of incumbents might go unchallenged in their re-election bids.
At the close of business Wednesday, two Rancho Mirage residents – Brandon Ross and Katherine Spates – had pulled nomination papers, according to City Clerk Kristie Ramos. Pulling the official paperwork is the first step toward becoming a candidate. Just because they pulled papers does not mean they will officially file them.
Neither Ross nor Spates returned requests for comment.
If the incumbents remain unchallenged, it would be the first time since April 2012, according to Ramos, saving the city an estimated $30,000.
There are three City Council seats, each a four-year term, up for grabs in the April 10 election. Hoping to retain their seats on the five-member council are Dana Hobart, Iris Smotrich and Charles Townsend Vinci. The remaining two City Council seats are now held by Richard Kite and Ted Weill.
The mayor is appointed every year on a rotational basis by the City Council.
The nomination period, which opened Dec. 18, closes Jan. 12.
Would-be candidates must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a registered voter residing within city limits at the time nomination papers are issued.
To schedule an appointment to “pull papers,” please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (760) 324-4511, Ext. 488.
There is no cost to receive and/or file nomination papers.
Townsend was elected to the Rancho Mirage City Council in 2014. From 2016, he was Mayor Pro Tem and on April 20, 2017, he was sworn in as the Mayor of Rancho Mirage.
Hobart was first elected to the City Council in 2002.
Smotrich was first appointed by the Rancho Mirage City Council on July 7, 2011. In 2012, she ran unopposed and was reappointed by the City Council to serve for a two-year term. In 2014, she ran for office and won.
As of Dec. 12, the City of Rancho Mirage has 9,886 registered voters, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. The last day to register to vote or transfer registration for the April 10, 2018 election is March 26, 2018.