City Clerk posts only 3 candidates for City Council at deadline
At close of business on Friday, August 10, City Clerk Lisa Wolfe listed only three candidates who filed to run for the two open seats on Benicia’s City Council in November’s election.
Rumors had been circulating that both incumbents had decided against running again. But until Friday, no one was sure. Now it’s certain: Councilmembers Mark Hughes and Alan Schwartzman will not run. City Council will definitely have a different look after this November’s election – including at least one more woman.
Both Christina Strawbridge (a Democrat and member of Progressive Democrats of Benicia) and Lionel Largaespada (a Republican) declared as candidates soon after their defeat in the 2016 election that they would run again in 2018. Both have filed and are in the race.
Progressive Democrats of Benicia will strongly oppose Largaespada, who is on record in favor of Crude by Rail.
(NOTE: the PDB mistakenly stated that Mr. Largaespada opposes a Benicia Industrial Safety Ordinance, and for that we apologize. We do not know what his position on an ISO is, and we hope he discloses it to the community before the election. In his own words, “On ISO, I’m keeping an open mind.”)
The new face on the ballot will be Kari Birdseye, currently chair of Benicia’s Planning Commission and a member of Progressive Democrats of Benicia.*
* Note that Kari has stepped down from the Progressive Democrats of Benicia Steering Committee for the duration of the campaign to avoid any conflict of interest.