By Arnold Adler
Thirteen area cities will conduct City Council elections Nov. 8, ranging from 16 candidates in Monterey Park and 12 in Montebello to four each in Pico Rivera and Bellflower.
Several communities also will be electing city clerks and city treasurers.
Monterey Park and Montebello are switching from at-large to district voting while Bellflower will be voting by district for the first time in a November election. Previously the City voted March.
Two former officials are seeking to get back in Council action. They are Juan Garza in Bellflower and Bill Rounds in Santa Fe Springs.
Cudahy Councilman Jack M. Guerrero is termed out but is running for state treasurer Nov. 8 as a Republican against Democratic incumbent Fiona Ma.
Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco is not termed out but is running for the 64th Assembly District seat against Roy Ortiz, a Republican from La Mirada.
Downey residents also will vote on increasing the city’s transient occupancy (hotel bed) tax.
Other cities voting for City Council members are Alhambra, Bell Gardens, Lynwood, Maywood, Norwalk and South Gate.
Bell, Commerce, Huntington Park and Paramount conducted municipal elections in June while Whittier held its municipal election in April.
In Alhambra, District 1 incumbent Katherine Lee is being challenged by Ari Gutierrez Arambula and Stephen Sham. In District 2, incumbent Ross Maza, is unopposed; and in District 5, incumbent Adele Andrade-Stadler is opposed by Jeffrey Gomez, a journalist.
In Bell Gardens, incumbents Lisseth Flores-Franco, Alejandra Cortez and Marco Barcena are being challenged by Francis De Leon Sanchez, Jose Angel Cruz, Steve Martin Figueroa, Jennifer Rodriguez, Christian Mendez, Miguel De La Rosa and Andrew Leon.
In Bellflower, incumbent Ray Hamada faces a challenge in District 1 from Ricardo Fosado.
Mayor Pro Tem Sonny Santa Ines is unopposed in District 3 and has been appointed to a four-year term.
In District 5, Mayor Ray Dunton is being challenged by former Councilman Juan Garza.
In Cudahy, terms ending in December are those of Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar and Council members Jack M. Guerrero and Blanca Lozoya. Alcantar and Lozoya are seeking re-election. They are being challenged by Martin Fuentes, Patricia Covarrubias, Maria Jimenez and Cynthia Gonzalez.
In Downey, recent appointee Donald La Plante did not seek election in District 2. Contenders for that seat are Art Montoya, Hector Sosa and Anthony Felix.
In District 4, Councilwoman Claudia Frometa faces challenges from Juan Martinez and Joaquin Beltran.
In Lynwood, Mayor Jorge Casanova, Mayor Pro Tem Jose Luis Solache and Councilwoman Marisela Santana are seeking reelection against Lorraine Avila-Moore, Gabriela Camacho and Juan Munoz-Guevara.
In Maywood, Mayor Heber Marquez and Councilman Eddie De La Riva are seeking re-election but Councilman Ricardo Lara is not. Challengers are Maria Rosas, Carmen Perez, Mayra Aguiluz and Carlos Alvarez.
Also on the ballot will be the vacant seat of city clerk. Andrea Aguilar appointed acting City Clerk following resignation of the former clerk, is seeking a four-year term in the clerk’s position.
In Montebello, all five council seats will be open as the city switches from at large-voting to district voting, a city clerk spokesperson said.
Current council members are Mayor Kimberly Ann Cobos-Cawthorne, who filed for election in District 1; Mayor Pro Tem Angie Marie Jimenez, who filed for District 5; Councilman David Torres, who filed in District 4; Salvador Melendez, who filed in District 3; and Scarlet Peralta, who filed in District 2.
Challengers are Edward Franco, Georgina Tamayo and former Councilwoman Rosie Vasquez in District 1; Steven Andrade in District 2; Marie Carmen Ledezma in District 3; City Treasurer Rafael Gutierrez in District 4; and Joseph Sanchez, Ricardo Alonzo and Eduardo Garfias in District 5.
Osvaldo Lira and David Matanga are seeking to replace Gutierrez as city treasurer.
Like Montebello, Monterey Park is transitioning to voting by district. Districts 2, 3 and 4 were established in 2020. Districts 1 and 5 will be added this year, a city clerk spokesperson said. District 3 is vacant because of a recent resignation.
Terms ending are those of Councilmen Hans Liang and Peter Chen, both elected at large.
Liang is seeking the position of city clerk along with Maychelle Yee; while incumbent City Clerk Vincent Dionicio Chang is seeking the city treasurer position and is being challenged by Amy Lee.
Current Treasurer Joseph Leon is not seeking election.
City Council candidates for District 1 are Jason Dhing and Thomas Wong. Candidates for District 5 are Vinh T. Ngo, Joe Ray Avila, Delario M. Robinson and Teresa Real Sebastian. Candidates for the vacant council seat in District 3 are Jose Sanchez and Tammy Wong.
In Norwalk, incumbent council members Jennifer Perez and Tony Ayala are being challenged by Petra Pena, Luis Navas and Dora Sandoval.
In Pico Rivera, incumbents Raul Elias and Gustavo Camacho are being challenged by John Garcia and Tony Hernandez.
In Santa Fe Springs, Mayor Annette Rodriguez and council members Juanita Martin and John M. Mora are being challenged by former Councilman Bill Rounds, Planning Commissioner Gabriel Jimenez and Blake Carter.
In South Gate, Mayor Al Rios is being challenged by Joshua Barron, Robert Montalvo, Adolfo Varas, Jovana Laborin and Ruby Navarro. Councilwoman Denise Diaz is not seeking reelection.
Also on the ballot will be the offices of former City Clerk Carmen Avalos and Treasurer Greg Martinez.
Yodit Glaze, appointed to replace Avalos, filed for a four-year term.
Martinez has filed for re-election as treasurer and is being challenged by Jose De La Paz.