The next city council election is not until November 2018, but that has not stopped three Santa Clarita residents from submitting their forms declaring their intention to run.
As of 16 months before Santa Clarita locals check their ballots to fill three council seats, Councilwoman Marsha McLean, Councilman Bill Miranda and local activist Logan Smith have filed their paperwork to run in the next election.
While Smith is a newcomer to candidacy, he’s no stranger to political conversations in the Santa Clarita Valley. It’s not uncommon to see Smith at rallies and events, and even last week, using public comment time at a city council meeting.
Though Smith recognizes this election as nonpartisan, he draws some knowledge and inspiration from state and national campaigns he’s involved himself in as field representative and endorser.
“It helps to see what other campaigns are doing on a larger scale,” Smith said.
It’s important to start this early to gain name recognition and start fundraising, he said. Residents will only spend so much money on campaigns, according to Smith, so it’s important to familiarize them with his own campaign and knock on doors before they’re burned out next year.
“It’s going to help that we’re going to get ahead of the pack,” Smith.
Seeking to run a “people-powered” campaign, Smith said he does not want to attack any of his opponents or devalue any of members of the current council.
He said he anticipates his greatest challenge will be winning against incumbents.
McLean is the only one of the group who has run in a city council election before, having been first elected in 2002 and again in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
The long-time council member, currently serving in the third-longest running seat on the council behind Councilwoman Laurene Weste and Councilman Bob Kellar, has served the city as mayor in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Best known for her advocacy to protect Elsmere Canyon, McLean has said on many occasions that she considers herself an environmentalist.
McLean was not available for comment.
The newest member of Santa Clarita’s council, Miranda may run in his first election next November after being appointed to the council in January. He said filing the intent form was “just in case” and he’s still thinking about it, but said he would be happy to run.
“Absolutely, I’d be looking forward to it,” Miranda said. “It’s an opportunity to see what I can do, to separate myself from everybody else and to highlight not only my background but my time on the council.”
Miranda filled the seat vacated by now-Assemblyman Dante Acosta in an appointment process that screened 50 residents for the spot.
“It would be a more rewarding process,” Miranda said about competing in an election.
The rookie councilmember said he anticipates there will be a lot of candidates come 2018, but has a “the more the merrier” view about it.
In his six months as a council member, Miranda has been most vocal about his support for affordable housing for senior citizens.