While the Santa Clarita City Council 2020 election is months away, some have already announced their candidacy and others have confirmed they will not run, including longtime Councilman Bob Kellar.
“I’ve been serving for almost two decades,” said Kellar, who is up for re-election, along with Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth. “I’m done and it’s time for someone else to have it. It has been an honor and a privilege to have been able to serve this city for 19 years, and I hope I’ve done a nice job for our citizens and I thank all the people in Santa Clarita.”
Kellar joined the council in April 2000 and served as mayor four times. Some of his most recognized work as a council member includes efforts toward the Whittaker-Bermite property cleanup and against the proposed Cemex mining site in Canyon Country.
While he does not plan on running, he shared his support for Jason Gibbs, who announced Tuesday his campaign is underway. He also ran in 2018 for one out of the three seats open, for which incumbents Mayor Marsha McLean, Councilman Bill Miranda and Councilwoman Laurene Weste won from a pool of 12 other candidates.
“I do feel very strongly about him (Gibbs),” Kellar said. “He’s very bright and I feel very comfortable with him taking a seat.”
In a news release Tuesday, Gibbs said he has “discovered many of the same local concerns are on the top of their minds; keeping their family safe, making sure our schools remain stellar and protected, and that those at City Hall are constantly searching for ways to reduce traffic congestion across our valley in meaningful and long-lasting ways.”
Smyth, who was first elected to the City Council in 2000 and served for six years before being elected to the state Legislature, said Tuesday: “When I ran in 2016 it was with the intent of seeking a term in 2020. After the first of the year, I’ll confer with my family and employer to make a final decision.”
Another candidate who has publicly announced his candidacy is Chris Werthe, who ran for the Saugus Union School District Area No. 2 seat in 2018. Although he was unavailable for comment Tuesday, his campaign website, wertheforscv.com, highlights focus areas such as traffic, homelessness and jobs.
Candidates who ran for the City Council 2018 race were contacted Tuesday about the possibility of running in 2020. Of those reached, Brett Haddock confirmed that he will not be running. Diane Trautman said she has not yet made a final decision as she is focusing on other projects within the community.