CARLSBAD — And then there were three.
The filing deadline came and went as Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher, Simon Angel and Tracy Carmichael are all set to run for the vacant District 1 council seat in a special election on March 3, 2020, which is also the California primary.
The seat has been open since Oct. 9 after Barbara Hamilton resigned citing family health reasons. The City Council engaged in debate for weeks over whether to appoint a representative or call for a special election; although residents gathered signatures for the election after the council voted to start the appointment process.
By the time one of the candidates is seated, the seat will have been vacant for six months.
Schumacher is an at-large councilwoman, as she was elected in 2016 before the city moved to district elections in 2018. Her at-large term expires in 2020; however, the District 1 term runs through 2022.
Schumacher has also already formed a committee for another mayoral bid in 2022. She lost the race for mayor in 2018 to Matt Hall.
Schumacher has raised more than $20,000 for her next campaign, according to public financial records. She also serves on the board of the San Diego Association of Governments, is chairwoman and spearheaded the new Clean Energy Alliance Joint Powers Authority, along with battling against overdevelopment of the Village and Barrio, to name a few aspects of her three-year tenure on the council.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of Carlsbad,” she said in a video announcing her candidacy on Nov. 12. “There’s more work to be done. This is going to be a sprint.”
Angel is a native of Carlsbad, calling the Barrio home for decades. He said his decision to run stemmed from the at-length politicking over the appointment process, also noting District 1 will be without a council member until April 2020.
He stressed he is not running against anyone, but rather running for the seat. He has supported Schumacher in the past, but said he believes she is eyeing other political offices, while Angel said he is 100% committed to the city and District 1.
He said his main focuses are bringing all people together for the good of the city, providing a balance between objective and subjective considerations for new development and bringing term limits to the council as a method to increase a more diverse pool of council members and ideas.
“Preserving the cultural, the social and historical parts of those two communities,” Angel said of his goal on the Village and Barrio. “I believe when a person is elected to City Council, they come with their own biases … and I think term limits would help by providing a level protection against people who’ve become too entrenched. It would bring more people into government on a local level.”
Carmichael narrowly lost (237 votes) to Hamilton in 2018 and was unsure if she wanted to run again after the special election was called. Nevertheless, she opted for another run in hopes of capturing the seat.
Carmichael had more than $20,000 in campaign funds from 2018, but per state law, he must return those funds to donors. However, she said most, if not all those donors, have recommitted to her campaign, thus giving her a nice boost heading into the race, she said.
Carmichael said since she ran just last year, her message is still fresh in voters’ minds and she wants to champion healing the city as well as ensuring its future as a leader in the region.
“I’ll be fresh in their mind and hopefully sway the other 237 to understand the importance of a trusted leader and a person committed to Carlsbad,” she said.