The empty dias for the Gilroy City Council at City Hall.

The four-week period to file for three seats on City Council opened July 14, and former councilmen and planning commissioners joined the roster of potential contenders for the Nov. 4 election.
Three seats, currently held by Councilmen Dion Bracco, Peter Leroe-Muñoz and Peter Arellano, are set to expire in November and are four-year terms. Bracco and Leroe-Muñoz filed campaign committee statements—one of many requirements to run for political office—while Arellano did not.
As of press time, Arellano did not return requests for comment on whether he plans on running to retain his seat.
Among potential challengers for the incumbents’ seats are former councilman Paul Kloecker, who serves as a planning commissioner, and former councilman Roland Velasco, according to public documents available on the City’s website. Planning Commissioner Tom Fischer also filed campaign committee paperwork.
Filing doesn’t mean these council hopefuls have qualified as candidates, City Clerk Shawna Freels said.
“It’s an indication they intend to run in the election and they may maintain a committee to raise and expend monies,” she added.
Prospective candidates have until Aug. 8 to complete the required paperwork in order to qualify. Those hoping to make it on the ballot must collect the signatures of at least 20 and no more than 30 registered voters.
“They need to be registered voters in the City of Gilroy,” Freels said. “We get that sometimes when people living in the county think they can run or sign a nomination paper; you have to be a registered voter to do either.”
Only after the signatures are verified and determined to be valid does a prospective candidate become a legitimate contender, Freels said.
According to the California Elections Code, the nomination period can be extended only if an incumbent council member doesn’t submit the required paperwork by Aug. 8. In that case, the deadline would be extended to Aug. 13—but the extension does not apply to the incumbent who missed the deadline.
For more information on the requirements to file as a candidate, deadlines and campaign committee statements, visit
—Councilmen Dion Bracco and Peter Leroe-Muñoz have filed campaign committee statements, indicating they plan on running for another term
—Councilman Peter Arellano has not filed as of press time
Prospective challengers
• Tom Fischer, current planning commissioner
• Paul Kloecker, former councilman and current planning commissioner
• Roland Velasco, former councilman
—Prospective candidates have until Aug. 8 to submit required paperwork
—Council prospects must receive signatures of at least 20 and no more than 30 registered Gilroy voters to be considered legitimate
—All requirements can be found at

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