The musical chairs in Carlsbad’s political scene has come to a rest, at least for now.
Carlsbad moved to district elections this year with the exception of mayor, which is an at-large race and all residents can vote.
The shocking and unexpected announcement of incumbent Mark Packard’s withdrawal last week has opened up the race in District 1. In the field are Linda Breen, Tracy Carmichael, Barbara Hamilton and David McGee.
Packard pulled out last week saying “after careful consideration” with his wife and God, he opted not to run. He also said he hopes residents “stay the course,” as the city is on a great path forward.
In District 3, incumbent Michael Schumacher announced in March he would not seek re-election. With his absence, the race is between newcomers Priya Bhat-Patel and Corrine Busta.
However, the biggest race is for mayor, as incumbent Matt Hall takes on City Councilwoman Cori Schumacher (no relation to Michael Schumacher). The two were nearly identical in fundraising as Hall narrowly outraised Schumacher.
Hall tallied $37,375, while Schumacher collected $36,445 from the Jan. 1 through June 30 period. Hall, though, holds a significant advantage for overall funds, as his ending cash balance totaled $67,164 at the end of the period compared to $16,778 for Schumacher.
Bhat-Patel, meanwhile, raised $11,760 during the same period as the mayoral candidates with an ending cash balance of $8,476. Her opponent, however, did not file a Form 460, a financial disclosure document, for the period, according to the city’s website. In addition, all District 1 candidates did not file a Form 460.
Candidates, though, must file pre-election statements by Sept. 27 and Oct. 25.
In other races, incumbents Barbara Engleson and Craig Lindholm are running unopposed for city clerk and treasurer, respectively.
However, the city races are not the only ones concerning residents. Seats for three positions on the Carlsbad Unified School District board of trustees are also open.
Two areas (similar to districts but different boundaries) — Nos. 4 and 5 — have incumbents Kathy Rallings and Claudine Jones running unopposed. In Area 1, Dr. Melanie Burkholder will challenge incumbent Veronica Williams.
Another note, of the four competitive races, eight of the 10 candidates are women, or 80 percent of the field. National reports show more women are becoming candidates regardless of party.
Including the non-competitive races, women account for 11 of the 14 (78.5 percent) races. A minimum of five elected positions will be held by women with the possibility of mayor and District 1 also being held by women.