At first, it looked like the Grover Beach City Council members up for election this year would be running unopposed (similar to in Pismo Beach), but a slate of last minute filings on Friday mean the races are far from decided.
Three have qualified to run for Grover Beach City Council: incumbents Mariam Shah and Barbara Nicolls, as well as newcomer Robert Robert. Kara Ramirez also filed to run for one of the two open seats, but did not have the minimum number of signatures to qualify (candidates must submit petitions with 20 signatures from registered voters to the City Clerk’s office).
Shah and Nicolls are both in their first terms on the City Council. Further information on Roberts was not immediately available Monday.
For mayor, there are three contenders who have qualified for the ballot, according to City Clerk Donna McMahon.
Councilman Jeff Lee announced in July that he intended to succeed Mayor John Shoals when Shoals terms out of office this year. Lee is halfway through his second term on the City Council.
Court reporter Elizabeth “Liz” Doukas has also filed to run for mayor.
Doukas has previously run for the City Council in 2006, 2008 and 2012 but was unsuccessful each time. Most recently in 2012, she was the fourth-highest vote getter with 15.71 percent of the vote.
Former Mayor and current Councilwoman Debbie Peterson also filed paperwork to run for mayor.
Peterson previously served as mayor the last time Shoals termed out of office in 2012; she unsuccessfully ran for the office against him in 2014 before taking aim at — and winning — a City Council seat in 2016.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include candidates’ qualification statuses on Monday.