Hesperia To Bypass Municipal Election With Two Unopposed Incumbents & One Appointment

For the first time in its 34-year history, the City of Hesperia will not conduct a city council race this election cycle.
No one emerged to challenge incumbent District 3 Councilman Cameron Gregg and incumbent District 4 Councilwoman Brigit Benington, who were due to stand for reelection this year.
This year as well, the four-year term of District 2 Councilman Bill Holland is set to expire in December. Because of redistricting that took place last year based on the 2020 Census, the borders for District 1 were moved to include Holland’s residence. In Hesperia, elections are sequenced so that districts 1 and 5 hold their races in years corresponding with presidential elections and voters in districts 2, 3 and 4 select their council representative in conjunction with the gubernatorial general election.
In this way, Holland is to be redistricted out of office. His only options at present are to bring his political career in Hesperia to a pause or a close and/or wait until 2024 to run in District 1, where currently Rebekah Swanson holds the council position. Holland, who was first elected to the council in 2010, could not have opposed her in 2020, as the configuration of the city electoral map at that time yet had him living in District 2.
Perhaps out of apathy or perhaps because a significant number of the city’s residents who might have contemplated running for the District 2 council post incorrectly but understandably believed that the position was held by an entrenched incumbent, no one surfaced to run for the District 2 slot on the council this year. Faced with these circumstances, the city council in a specially-called meeting on Wednesday, August 24 canceled the November 8 municipal election with a 5-to-0 vote, thereby setting up the default elections of Gregg and Bennington, who in July had filed for reelection and qualified their candidacies at that time, and then devoted itself to ascertaining who would succeed Holland when his term ends in December.
To this end, the council had previously solicited applications from residents of District 2 interested in a four-year appointment to the council. The prospect of being elevated to elective office without having to actually stand for election apparently had appeal, as seven applied.
Those seeking the District 2 appointment were Seth Levi Caveyo, David Bashar Ellis, Selina Gomez, David Heredia, Allison Lee, Andres Rodriguez and Chris Sevy.
Ultimately the council selected Lee, a 22-year resident of Hesperia and mother of two who with her husband runs an automotive service business in the city, to serve the four-year term representing District 2 commencing in December and running through until December 2026.
By canceling the municipal election for November 8, the city will net a savings of roughly $130,000, based upon not having to pay for a place on both the actual ballot and the sample ballot and the city’s share of the cost of mailing the sample ballots, mail-in ballots and voter pamphlets to Hesperia’s 51,232 registered voters as well as sharing in the cost of operating the voting precincts in the city.
-Mark Gutglueck

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