With the official election filing date still two months away, two candidates have emerged in November’s Paso Robles City Council race.
Councilman Steve Martin and resident Jim Reed have filed papers indicating their intentions to run.
Three seats will be up for grabs — two for council and one for mayor. The incumbents currently in those seats are Mayor Duane Picanco, Councilman John Hamon and Mayor Pro Tem Ed Steinbeck.
Martin will run for mayor and Reed for a seat on the council.
The council seats carry four-year terms while the mayor seat carries a two-year term. July 14 is the first day candidates can officially pull their nomination papers with the city.
Concerns over a shrinking Paso Robles groundwater basin — one of the city’s key water sources — will likely influence the city’s council and mayoral races this year.
Councilman Martin is the first candidate in Paso Robles' mayoral race to publicly announce his election plans. A marketing businessman, Martin previously served on the council from 1987 to 1996 and was mayor from 1988 to 1990. Voters elected him as a councilman again in 2012.
His platform, according to his announcement this week, will focus on water issues, economic development and the continuing restoration of city services cut back in the recession.
Since Martin is running for mayor mid-term, two years will remain on his current council term if he’s elected.
The newly-seated council could then hold a special election or appoint a replacement to serve in his spot through 2016.
Reed in February filed his Candidate Intention Form 501 for a council seat, a position he sought two years ago but narrowly missed when voters favored incumbent Fred Strong.
In the 2012 election, Reed worked as a computer draftsman and ran on a platform of change in a city that many distrusted after a controversial $250,000 payout to former police Chief Lisa Solomon.
His campaign plans for this year have so far not been disclosed, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.
Picanco meanwhile told The Tribune on Thursday that he hadn’t yet decided on whether he will seek re-election.
“I plan to meet with my committee (the) first week of June. My decision will not be made because Steve Martin has decided to run for mayor,” Picanco wrote in an email.
A five-time mayor for the city, Picanco has primarily worked to support small business and more recently to fix the city’s roads.
Steinbeck hasn’t decided about his plans for this election, he said Thursday, noting that he will make his decision by mid to late June. Hamon couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.