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There will be five names on the ballot on May 4, when a special election is held for to fill a vacant town council seat.

The vacant seat belonged to Dominic Foppoli, who was elected at-large mayor in the 2020 election, as part of the town’s transition to district elections. Since his seat is an at-large seat and not a district seat until 2022, any qualified local is eligible to run. However, in 2022, the seat will only be open to a qualified member of districts 1, 2 or 4, the three districts that will be up for vote then.

Oscar Chavez, Julia Donoho, Jeffrey Leasure, Rosa Reynoza and Cody Wilson are the five names in contention, after the nomination period closed on Feb. 5. A sixth person, Thomas J. Tessier, filed the initial paperwork and then withdrew from consideration.

Reynoza and Leasure both ran campaigns in the 2020 election, Reynoza for mayor and Leasure for the district 3 seat. Donoho, an attorney and architect, has run for council previously. Chavez, who works at the county as the assistant director of Sonoma County Human Services, held a seat on the school board for three years, stepping down in 2015 after his wife took a job with the district, according to Times archives. Information on Wilson was not available at the time of publication.

Vote-by-mail will open April 5, with the election itself taking place May 4. The last day to register to vote in the election is April 19, with mail-in ballots being started processing on April 20.The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is April 27. The certification deadline is June 3, with the selected individual being seated at the first council meeting after that.

Following the election in November, conflict reigned as the council debated appointing someone to fill the seat versus holding a special election. The council remained deadlocked for several meetings, with the deadlock breaking on Jan. 6 when Foppoli and councilmember Debora Fudge both agreed to a special election despite their concerns about cost, both fiscal and on the community after the ugliness of the 2020 campaign.

The upcoming May election is a result of that meeting.  

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