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Dozen pulled papers for Orange City Council race

Orange City News

The dozen hopefuls who have pulled nomination papers for the two seats on the Orange City Council upcoming elections as of Tuesday will have an extra week to file their paper work.

Councilwoman Carolyn Cavecche filed her nomination papers Tuesday confirming she will run for mayor and will not run for her incumbent seat on the Council.

Among the dozen, one candidate filed, another decided not to run, several have confirmed running and others have not made a final decision on their candidacy.

Darren Smith, one of five who have not previously run for office, is the sole person to file his nomination papers. The longtime resident of Orange said his decision to run was motivated by the passing of Councilmember Steve Ambriz, who he had known through work.

Jason Lindenstrom, a chief political officer for the Orange County Teachers' Federal Credit Union, pulled papers but decided he is not running for council this year.

Four of six of the candidates who have previously ran for City Council said they do intend to file their papers and will complete them before the deadline.

John Caglia, a project manager for Disney retail stores and 15-year resident of Orange, said he will run for his second time for City Council.

Robert Douglas, a small business owner and 11-year resident, will also be turning in his nomination papers.

Denis Bilodeau, director of the Orange County Water District and a previous candidate, said he had not intended to run.

"Bridget (Ambriz) asked me to run after Steve's death," Bilodeau said. "If you had asked me two and a half months ago, it wouldn't have been the case."

While he hasn't file yet, Mayor Mark Murphy said he will be running.

"I don't think the issues have changed a lot during the past couple of years," he said. "I think people are concerned about managing our growth while protecting our neighborhoods and quality of life."

Fred Whitaker said he is still considering his options. He added that if he ends up running, he hopes to address issue related to joint-use facilities and illegal immigration.

Michael Merino said he is undecided as to whether he will run for the Council or for mayor  which is open because Mayor Mark Murphy's term is over.

Merino is the only candidate that has pulled papers for both positions.

"I am about 75 percent sure on my decision but I have not finalized it yet," he said.

Katie Grant, a resident of Orange for about five years and financial consultant, pulled nomination papers on Monday. She said she has not made a decision yet whether she will move forward with the process.

Frank Finn said he still has not made a decision either.

"This would be my first time and I am on the fence about it.," said Finn, a police officer who has lived in the city since 1983.

Both Finn and Grant are running for office for the first time.

Some of the issues that candidates plan to address include development and government intervention.

Phil Martinez, who previously ran for the Orange Unified School District, and Arnold Crain also pulled nomination papers but have not yet filed. Despite attempts, both men could not be reached for comment.

In the Mayoral race, Mike Alvarez and Juan Pablo-Serrano-Nieblasalso pulled papers as of Tuesday.

CONTACT US: cbacalso@ocregister.com or 714-704-3704