There are more than three months until the 2020 general election, but now is the time for candidates to begin throwing their hats into a very big ring of potential seats.

In addition to voting for the president and a slew of state appointments, there are many available opportunities to run to represent the Coastside in the coming years. On Monday, the candidate filing period opened in San Mateo County. It remains open until 5 p.m. on Aug. 7 with extensions possible if eligible incumbents decide not to qualify. Candidates must file required documents, including a nomination paper and declaration of candidacy to the appropriate city or county clerk’s office.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Half Moon Bay City Clerk Jessica Blair said all paperwork with the city will be done virtually or by appointment only. Interested candidates will need to make an appointment via email and meet with Blair twice by teleconference to go over the packet information and to review the submitted paperwork.

The city of Half Moon Bay is also hosting a candidate orientation in late August to give an overview of city functions to prepare people for the City Council campaigns.

Similarly, the Elections Office in San Mateo County is also encouraging candidates to submit paperwork electronically in light of the public health crisis.

In Half Moon Bay, two seats are up for grabs on the City Council. These are the positions held by Mayor Adam Eisen and Councilman Harvey Rarback.

This will mark the first year that some Coastsiders will find themselves voting based on districts, and those districts will differ from race to race. In 2018, the city of Half Moon Bay changed its electoral process from at-large to district elections beginning with the Nov. 3 election. Other government agencies followed suit, including the Coastside County Water District, Cabrillo Unified School District and the San Mateo County Harbor District.

Instead of voting for every available open seat, voters will be voting only for the candidates running within their district. Additionally, candidates can only gather signatures from people within their own district during the nominating process.

In all, 30 board seats are up for grabs on multiple agencies and school districts with a direct impact on the Coastside. A list of available spots are listed below:

  • Cabrillo Unified School District Governing Board, 2 seats (Trustee Areas B and D);
  • La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District Governing Board, 3 seats;
  • Coastside County Water District Board of Directors, 3 seats (Zones 1, 3 and 4);
  • Coastside Fire Protection District Board of Directors, 2 seats;
  • Granada Community Services District Board of Directors, 2 seats;
  • Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Board of Directors, 1 seat (Ward 7);
  • San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Commissioners, 3 seats (Districts 1, 4, and 5);
  • Half Moon Bay Council member, 2 seats (Districts 2 and 3);
  • Midcoast Community Council member, 3 seats;
  • Pescadero Municipal Advisory Council Board of Directors, 3 seats (District 1), 2 seats (District 2), 1 seat (District 3), and 1 seat (at large);
  • San Mateo County Community College District Governing Board, 3 seats (Trustee Areas 1, 3, and 5);
  • California Senate District 13;
  • California Assembly District 24.

For more information on how to file, visit

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