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Carlsbad City Hall. File photo
CarlsbadCitiesElections 2022NewsPolitics & GovernmentRegion

Candidates announce bids for Carlsbad’s elected positions

CARLSBAD — Ten candidates have announced intentions to run for mayor, city council, treasurer and city clerk since the filing period opened on July 18 in Carlsbad.

This year’s citywide races include the offices of mayor, clerk and treasurer, while residents in District 1 and District 3 will elect their district-specific representatives.

The mayoral race features Councilman Keith Blackburn and retired businessman Mike Curtin. Blackburn has been on the council since 2008, while Curtin is making his first run for public office.

In District 1, four candidates have emerged — Melanie Burkholder, Cory Geigert, DeeDee Trejo-Rowlett and Sam Ward. In District 3, incumbent Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel will face off against Trustee Ray Pearson, of Carlsbad Unified School District.

Sherry Freisinger is a Certified Municipal Clerk and is running for the open seat after the retirement of Barbara Engleson last year. As for treasurer, Lance Schulte is currently the only candidate to submit nomination papers for the position.

For months Blackburn was the only candidate to have announced to run for mayor as Mayor Matt Hall is retiring at the end of this term. Curtin recently filed his candidate intention statement to challenge the long-time councilman.

Blackburn has been on the council since 2008 and ran for mayor in 2010, losing to Hall. In 2020, Blackburn won easily in the first-ever D2 election with a 13-point win over Lela Panagides.

Curtin currently volunteers as the director of public policy for the aerospace technical society American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, according to his LinkedIn page. Curtin is also a Certified Emergency Response Team, or CERT, member and an international surf judge.

In D1, the crowded field showcases three first-time candidates and Burkholder, who ran for council in 2016 but withdrew although it was after the filing period and her name still was on the ballot, school board in 2018 and state assembly in 2020. Since 2018, the district has had three representatives after Councilman Peder Norby’s appointment last year after Cori Schumacher’s resignation.

Norby is ineligible to run due to a city ordinance passed last year preventing any appointed council person from running within 16 months of an election.

Tracy Carmichael has previously said she would run but did not confirm her candidacy before the publication deadline.

As for D3, Bhat-Patel is currently in her first term on the council after defeating Corrine Busta in 2018. Bhat-Patel flirted with a run for state senate last year but withdrew after Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear entered the race.

Pearson has served on the CUSD board of trustees since 2014 and also serves on several boards for various nonprofits and city commissions.

For the city clerk position, Freisinger retired from the city several years ago, but has returned as part-time employee for special projects in the clerk’s office. Voters defeated Measure C in June, which would have allowed the city manager to hire the position.

As the lone candidate for the city’s treasurer position, Schulte has long been a vocal supporter and leader with the People for Ponto in attempts to get a coastal park in south Carlsbad. Schulte previously worked in the planning departments for the cities of Carlsbad and Dana Point but is now a real estate professional, according to his LinkedIn page.

The candidate filing period closes on August 12, and the general election is on November 8. If an incumbent doesn’t file nomination papers, the candidate filing period for those offices will extend to 5 p.m. on August 17, according to Faviola Medina, city clerk services manager.