The Coast News Group

Seven candidates file papers for City Council

CARLSBAD — One dropped out and another took his place.

On Friday, seven candidates returned nomination papers to run for two city council seats in the November election.

Incumbents Keith Blackburn and Lorraine Wood face off against challengers Melanie Burkholder, Bill Fowler, Cori Schumacher, Ann Tanner and the newest opponent, Brandon Rowley.

According to the city of Carlsbad’s website, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has only verified the signatures for Wood’s paperwork. The deadline to verify the remaining six candidates, meanwhile, is Aug. 17.

Rowley, however, makes for the seventh candidate after Brian Flock dropped out of the race several weeks ago, citing campaign donations and a crowded field.

He works at the San Diego Zoo and earned a degree in biological sciences at Cal Poly.

“I think there is an appeal for a young progressive with a background heavy in the sciences and conservation in my academic, professional, and personal life,” Rowley said in his announcement on Facebook. “I think I’d have a shot of motivating younger people to be involved in the political process by being a completely transparent candidate that is easily accessible and open to discussion and ideas by constantly engaging the constituents of Carlsbad.”

Blackburn, a former Carlsbad police officer, was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He currently serves on nine boards and said on his website he wants to continue revitalizing Carlsbad Village and preserving open space.

During our city’s continuing development and improvements, I will continue to use my business experience and public service background to maintain Carlsbad’s financial strength and security,” he said.

Wood, who served as the Carlsbad Deputy City Clerk from 1999-2000, was elected city clerk in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She was elected to the council in 2012.

“I’m dedicated to supporting the Village and the Village Master Plan because this special place is truly the heart of the community,” she said on her website. “Community activities, parks and recreation, the natural environment, the beach and an incredibly well balanced mix of residential, commercial and industrial land uses make Carlsbad a one-of-a-kind place.”

Burkholder, meanwhile, is a former U.S. Secret Service agent and small business owner.

“Carlsbad needs someone who will listen, collaborate and communicate resident’s needs,” she said in a Facebook post.

“Our family is like many of you: We desire the small-town beachy feel, and we want to maintain our quality of life.”

Schumacher is a former world champion surfer and an activist as the Executive Director of The Inspire Initiative. She also was a leading member of the “No on Measure A” campaign to defeat the Agua Hedionda Lagoon South Shore Specific Plan.

Fowler also worked on the “No on Measure A” campaign, is active in the North County Climate Change Alliance and Carlsbad Sustainability Coalition. He is a consultant at Search Technologies.

Tanner is a former Carlsbad Unified School District trustee, works with the American Red Cross and a licensed clinical social worker.

Other important dates include the voter guides will be mailed and first pre-election campaign statements are due and on Sept. 29. Early voting and vote by mail ballots mailed on Oct. 10 followed by the voter registration deadline on Oct. 24 and the second pre-election campaign statements on Oct. 27.

Other election news —

The Carlsbad Unified School District Board of Trustees race will no longer have an election as Richard Rocha withdrew his consideration this week.

Incumbents Ray Pearson and Elisa Williamson will be re-elected.

“Not only does this save the District several thousand dollars, it allows us to keep our focus on our responsibilities as members of the Governing Board over the next three months rather than fund-raising and campaigning,” Williamson said in a statement. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve our community as a member of the Board for the past 16 1/2 years and look forward to the next years as I complete my fifth (and final) term.”