Piedmont prepares for 2020 local elections

2020 City and School elections coming soon

Pandemic or no, there will still be an election this fall, and Piedmont City Clerk John Tulloch is hard at work getting ready.

Two City Council seats and three seats on the Board of Education will be up for election on November 3. The nomination period will run from July 13-August 7.

“The process of running for office requires more than some people think,” said Tulloch, who is entering his sixth local election as City Clerk. “It’s not just walking into City Hall and saying, ‘I want to run for office.’ There’s a lot of paperwork, there are a lot of requirements.”

“In the next  couple of weeks, we’re going to be putting out the Guide to Nomination and Candidacy. That is a 40-something page document that goes into excruciating detail on how the whole process works.”

City Clerk John Tulloch

One concession to the COVID-19 pandemic is that appointments will be required this year, since City Hall is still not fully open.

For 2020, Mayor Robert McBain will be termed out, having served two four-year terms. Council member Jen Cavenaugh is completing her first four-year term and can seek re-election. The other three seats will be up for election in 2022. Tim Rood and Teddy King will be termed out then, and Betsy Smegal Andersen will have completed her first four-year term.

On the School Board, Andrea Swenson and Sarah Pearson are completing their second terms and cannot stand for re-election. Board Vice President Cory Smegal is completing her first term and can run for re-election. The other two seats are up for election in 2022. Board President Amal Smith
will be termed out then, and Megan Pillsbury will have completed her first four-year term.

Officeholders in Piedmont are limited to two consecutive four-year terms. Former City Council members can run again if they sit out two consecutive terms. Former Board of Education members can run again if they sit out one term.

Candidates for both boards must be qualified voters who live in Piedmont. There is no age requirement other than having to be 18 to vote.

City Clerk John Tulloch

Potential candidates should make an appointment to meet with Tulloch at City Hall and take out nomination papers. He can be reached at 510-420-3041 or jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov. Candidates must turn in 20 valid signatures of registered voters in Piedmont, out of no more than 30 submitted. If a candidate comes up short of the number of valid signatures, he or she can re-submit signatures prior to the August 7 deadline. Tulloch said that has only happened once in his time as City Clerk.

“Under the Alameda County Shelter-in-Place order, election work, including gathering of signatures, is essential work,” Tulloch said. “Folks are gong to have to come to City Hall both to take out papers and return them. Some can be done electronically but some, under the law, I have to handle physically too. I have to swear them in as a candidate. If you have to come in for the paper, it’s easier to do in person.”

Tulloch said the best advice for potential candidates is to plan early and ask for help.

“I try to be very open and accessible to candidates,” he said. “We’re in this pandemic, so responses may be delayed. I don’t know when offices will be open.”

“Reaching out early in the nomination process or even before for me to issue papers is a great way to do it. Getting nomination papers back in early is helpful for candidates because if there are any deficiencies with what gets turned in, it can be corrected.”

John Tulloch

Tulloch grew up in Piedmont, has worked for the city since 2006, and became City Clerk in 2010.

One thought on “Piedmont prepares for 2020 local elections

  1. John Tulloch is a Piedmont treasure for anyone who runs for office. He’s a trusted and reliable resource, who patiently walk candidates through the minutiae of running. Thank you, John!

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