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Two candidates enter San Marcos race

SAN MARCOS — It appears San Marcos will have an election this November, after two people announced their intent to challenge a pair of incumbents in the fall election.

Ruben “RJ” Hernandez and Matthew Stack obtained nomination papers from the San Marcos City Clerk’s office, along with incumbents Sharon Jenkins and Rebecca Jones.

Jenkins, a former San Marcos Unified School District board member, is seeking her second term. Jones is seeking her third and final term on the dais, as San Marcos municipal code limits an elected representative to three consecutive four-year terms on the council.

Both challengers are relative newcomers to San Marcos: Hernandez moved from San Diego two years ago and Stack moved from Oceanside two months ago.

Hernandez, 35, according to his Facebook page, describes himself as an “independent, pro-business, anti-fire and pro-opportunity,” candidate.

“Meaning, I’m here to bolster business growth (jobs), protect our community from fire and work with and within the community to give those looking to step up and advance, the chance to do so,” Hernandez said on his page.

Stack, 35, is a partner at a commercial financing firm who is active in his church in Carlsbad. He said that there wasn’t a specific issue that prompted him to run, but said that he would provide a fresh perspective on the dais.

“San Marcos is an amazing city, I love this city,” Stack said. “This is something I have thought about for years, as a man of God I prayed about it and talked about it with people I have respected for years, and everything kind of lined up and I felt like it was my time to lead. I hope it not only stays the greatest city, but it just becomes greater and greater.”

Stack said his campaign will center around the idea of what he calls balanced development, managing growth to maintain community character and doesn’t create issues such as with traffic congestion.

“My biggest concern is that we are growing so fast that we may be getting ahead of ourselves,” Stack said. “It is good to grow, but not lose traditional values.”

Stack is married and has a 7-month-old son.

All candidates must file their nomination paperwork — including the signatures of 20 registered San Marcos voters — by Aug. 12. None has done so yet, according to the clerk’s office.

Hernandez and Stack’s entry into the race means that the city will have to hold an election, unlike in 2014 when the city was able to cancel the municipal election as no challengers emerged.

That cancellation came by way of a split council decision: officials voted 3-2 in favor of the cancellation, with Councilman Chris Orlando and Jenkins voting against it.

The city saved $30,000 by cancelling the election, according to the city clerk’s office. Orlando and Jenkins said that the cancellation limited the opportunity for someone to wage a write-in campaign.