Tue07292014

News

Two candidates, two vacancies: LA council raceoff to a slow start

Los Altos Councilmen John Moss and King Lear won their second terms unchallenged in 2001. Their successors could do the same if no one else enters the council race before Aug. 17. Only two candidates had pulled papers from the city clerk's office by the end of last week.

Randall Hull and Val Carpenter pulled candidacy papers within hours after the nomination period opened July 18. Both candidates serve on the city's planning commission.

Moss and Lear are the last candidates to be able to serve a third consecutive, four-year term. Both were elected prior to a law change that prohibits candidates from serving more than two consecutive terms.

Moss and Lear have said they do not intend to seek re-election.

Ruth Gibbs, an adviser at Los Altos High School, said earlier this year that she might run for council after the city rejected a request from high school students to declare June 7 Gay Pride Day. She has not pulled papers and could not be reached for comment.

If no one else enters the race, the council may appoint the two candidates to office. When Moss and Lear ran unopposed, their names still appeared on the ballot.

The unopposed 2001 election was the first time since 1991 that incumbents remained unchallenged in a Los Altos City Council race.

Every election since then has had more candidates than seats available.

Eight candidates battled it out for three seats in the 2003 election; five candidates filed papers for three seats in 1999; four candidates were on the ballot for two seats in 1997, and six candidates entered the race for three seats in 1995.

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