Election season has candidates eyeing seats

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Gardena City Council

While the holidays have yet to pass, the 2017 General Municipal Elections is heating up for the most contested city elections in generations. At stake will be a vacant mayors seat, as well as two open council seats.

There will be seven candidates contesting for the mayors post, which was vacated by the indictment of Paul Tanaka earlier this year. The council voted to leave the post unfilled until the March 2017 elections.

All four of the present Council members, Dan Medina, Tasha Cerda, Terrence Terauchi and Mark Henderson have filed for the mayors race.

While the holidays have yet to pass, the 2017 General Municipal Elections is heating up for the most contested city elections in generations. At stake will be a vacant mayors seat, as well as two open council seats.

There will be seven candidates contesting for the mayors post, which was vacated by the indictment of Paul Tanaka earlier this year. The council voted to leave the post unfilled until the March 2017 elections.

All four of the present Council members, Dan Medina, Tasha Cerda, Terrence Terauchi and Mark Henderson have filed for the mayors race.

Other familiar names hoping to serve as Gardena mayor are former councilmembers Ron Ikejiri and Rachel Johnson.

The lone non-official in the race is Warren Kronberger.

Terauchi and Cerda are finishing their four-year terms on the council in 2017, while Medina and Henderson are in the middle of their council terms.

Both Ikejiri and Johnson were three-term council members of Gardena, and both were termed out of office respectively — Ikejiri in 2011 and Johnson in 2015.

Terauchi served as a Gardena Councilman from 1999 to 2001, when he was then voted in as Mayor for 2001 to 2005. He lost re-election in 2005 to Paul Tanaka. Terauchi returned in 2013 to be elected to the council.

The Council race, while taking a backseat to the Mayors post, has also drawn much attention with six candidates, and four others who could still complete the filing process.

Name candidates for the City Council race include Art Kaskanian, a previous city clerk and council candidate; Wanda Love, director of the Gardena Chamber of Commerce; Paulette Francis, who chairs the Gardena Dr. Martin Luther King Cultural Committee; and former Gardena police Lt. Rodney Tanaka, now serving as exalted ruler of the Gardena Elks Lodge.

Two others who have filed are Nolan Mark Jamora and Charity Chandler-Cole.

The filing deadline for the Council race was extended to Dec. 14, and four people who can still submit their candidates papers are Shannon Lawrence, Justin Carroll, Cammie Le and Feltus Frostelam, according the City Clerk’s office on Monday.

Treasurer Ingrid Tsukiyama will face a challenge from Kathleen “Suzy” Evans, while

City Clerk Mina Semenza will run unopposed.

Election season has candidates eyeing seats