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Santa Clarita: At least 2 more eyeing 2014 race for City Council

Several rumored contenders deny their interest in bid for local election more than 14 months away

Posted: March 11, 2013 10:41 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2013 10:41 p.m.

Alan Ferdman and Dante Acosta are taking a long, hard look at the next race for Santa Clarita City Council, but neither is ready to announce a candidacy, both said separately Monday.

Ferdman, longtime chairman of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, said Monday he will announce his decision before the week is out.

“I will send out a press release by the end of this week,” he said.

He added: “I am very heavily leaning towards it.”

Although the election is slated for more than 14 months from now, contenders have been lining up since January, when school board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine announced her candidacy.

Three seats will be up for grabs in the April 2014 election — those of Frank Ferry, Marsha McLean and Laurene Weste.

Both McLean and Weste said they will seek re-election, but Ferry has said he won’t, creating that relative rarity among City Council elections: an open seat.

Mercado-Fortine, a member of the William S. Hart Union High School District board, followed up her announcement with a January news conference to outline her goals.

Maria Gutzeit, president of the Newhall County Water District, has said she will definitely run.

Acosta, who ran against Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon last year and lost, is another whose interest has been discussed around town. “I am taking it very seriously,” he said Monday, “and I’m looking at it very carefully.”

Mike Cruz, a Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation & Community Services commissioner, laughed when asked if he was going to run.

“I am not a candidate,” said Cruz, who ran for the Newhall County Water District in 2009 and lost. “I’m not going to change my mind.”

Ed Colley, who sits on the Castaic Lake Water Agency Board of Directors, said simply: “I’m not making any comment at this time.”

Colley ran for Santa Clarita City Council last spring.

B.J. Atkins, who sits on both the Castaic Lake Water Agency and the Newhall County Water District, said Monday he will not be a council candidate in 2014.

“I’ve been asked by lots of folks,” Atkins said.

“At this point, I have no particular reason to run for City Council; I enjoy what I do.”

Jon Hatami — one of three challengers in 2012 for two incumbents’ spots on the City Council — said he’s “probably not” going to run again in 2014.

“I love the city,” said the Santa Clarita resident. But he added he’s “very busy” as a deputy district attorney in the Antelope Valley.

“I’m a new dad and I have a couple of priorities to take care of.”

Meanwhile, Edward Headington, who ran for the 38th Assembly District, was enjoying a late lunch at Souplantation in Santa Clarita on Monday.

“I fell in love with Santa Clarita when while I was campaigning here,” said the Granada Hills resident. “Coming to Santa Clarita is kind of like coming home.”

However, the rumored contender said he will not be a candidate in the 2014 Santa Clarita City Council race.


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