Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Candidate deadline Aug. 12 for Nov. 8 election

Incumbents not seeking re-election will extend filing period to Aug. 17

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

Incumbents in several key local races haven’t taken out papers for the Nov. 8 general election. Their deadline is Friday, Aug. 12. If an incumbent in any of the races (other than planning groups) opts to not run, the deadline for challengers is extended to Wednesday, Aug. 17.

None of the three incumbents in the Fallbrook Union High School district – Lita Tabish, Elana Sterling and Diane Summers – have contacted the Registrar of Voters to take out papers through the newspaper deadline of Monday evening. The three incumbents were elected as at-large board members in 2018. They would run now in the new geographic sections of the district, Area 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

There are challengers for two of the FUHSD board seats. In District Area 1, Jim Dooley and Courtney Hilborn have taken out papers. There are no challengers in District Area 2, but in District Area 3 there are also two qualified candidates, Paul Christiansen, a fire department captain, and Karen Weinberger, a retired science teacher. Jennifer Sexton has also taken out papers for the Area 2.

The situation is nearly the opposite in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. Incumbent Caron Lieber is undecided on seeking a second four-year term for Trustee Area 1 and no one else has taken out papers in the area. However, incumbent Susan Liebes and appointed incumbent JoAnn Lopez have qualified for the ballot in Trustee Areas 4 and 5, respectively. Each has a challenger that has taken out papers, Stacey McRae in Area 4 and Mary McBride in Area 5.

In the Bonsall Unified School District, there are also three seats on the board to be decided. The three incumbents were elected at-large in 2018 but the district, like others, has converted to elections by geographic areas. In Area A, incumbent Lou Riddle has not taken out papers and there are no challengers. In Area B, Michael Gaddis has qualified for the ballot, and he will be challenged by attorney Richard Bruck. In Area D, incumbent Roger Merchat has qualified and there are two challengers who are in the process of qualifying for the ballot. They are Beth Klopfenstein, an emergency room nurse, and Mark Jones, a civil servant.

With the Vallecitos School District in Rainbow, Trustee Areas 3, 4, and 5 are up for election, as well as a short term race for Area 1. Incumbent Martin Kurland in Area 3 is the only person to take out papers and he has qualified for the ballot. (Like other “incumbents,” Kurland was elected at-large but meets the election requirement of living in the area that is on the ballot.) Other incumbents who have not taken papers are Heather Reinhardt in Area 1 (two-year term), Michael Darnley in Area 4, and Melissa Cox in Area 5.

Norma Miyamoto of Fallbrook is also seeking re-election to the Palomar College Board of Trustees representing Area 5.

The candidate filing process is the same in other local special districts including fire, health care, water, community planning, etc.

Fallbrook Community Planning Group: There are seven seats up for election with seven potential candidates so far, including incumbents Eileen Delaney (chairperson), Jennifer Domercq and Mark Mervich. Others taking our papers are Tara Enyeart, Michele McCaffery, Scott Spencer, and Peter Wilson. Voters can select up to seven on their ballot.

Rainbow Community Planning Group: This group has five seats available and five incumbents who have qualified for the ballot. They are Douglas Gastelum, Martin Kurland, Lynne Malinowski, Frederick Rasp and Michele Sheehan. Malinowski and Sheehan are appointed incumbents.

Fallbrook Regional Health District: Incumbents Jennifer Jeffries in Zone 1 and Howard Salmon in Zone 5 have filed for re-election. Bill Leach, appointed in Zone 3 last month, has also qualified for the ballot. Salmon, who is board president, has a challenger, Terry Brown, a licensed healthcare administrator.

Fallbrook Public Utility District: The two incumbents Keith Endter in Division 2 and Charley Wolk in Division 5 are seeking another term and there are currently no challengers.

North County Fire Protection District: In Division 1, Ross Pike has taken out papers. He was appointed to the board in July. In Division 2, small business owner Chris Shaw has qualified for the ballot. In Division 3, incumbent Kenneth Munson is running again. Munson and John Van Doorn are incumbents who were elected at-large. However, with new boundaries, Van Doorn is in District 4, same as board member Jeff Egkan, and that position won’t be voted on until 2024.

Rainbow Municipal Water District: Incumbents Miguel Gasca in Division 3 and Bill Stewart in Division 4 have not yet taken out papers. Gregory Irvine is a challenger in Division 3, as is Patricia Townsend-Smith in Division 4.

San Luis Rey Water District: Incumbents William Pankey in Division 1 and Thomas Veysey are seeking another four years. Incumbent Christian Zaleschuk has not taken out papers and there is no challenger.

For information about filing for any elected position, check the county Registrar of Voters web page,


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