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Council race: Renee in, Kerns not sure

Councilmember and Vice Mayor Tiffany Ren? threw her hat into the election ring on Monday, joining Councilmember Gabe Kearney and Planning Commissioner Alicia Kae Herries in the race for three Petaluma City Council seats this November.

Three councilmembers' terms expire this year: Ren?'s, Kearney's, and Mike Healy's. Healy has yet to announce whether or not he will run, while former county supervisor Mike Kerns said he is considering but hasn't made a final decision on a bid for a council seat.

The deadline to file election papers with the city is Aug. 10, though that can be extended to Aug. 15 for non-incumbents if Healy, Renee, or Kearney chooses not to run.

So far, Herries and Ren? have filed "intention to run" statements, said City Clerk Claire Cooper.

Kearney noted that to date, the field of those running for the seven-member council is slimmer than usual, adding that he was surprised there wasn't talk of more community members or former council members running.

"Usually by this time you hear rumblings," he said. "This year, for whatever reason, we're just not hearing from people."

Former Petaluma police sergeant and county supervisor Mike Kerns acknowledged that he was considering running for council, but said he hasn't made a decision yet.

"I thought when I retired from being supervisor I was done," he said, "But I've had friends encourage me to run."

He said he liked and respected everyone currently on the council, though he added, "I'm concerned about the future of the city, the direction it's moving in."

This spring, as Ren? sought election to the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by longtime Rep. Lynn Woolsey, it seemed doubtful that she would run for a second council term if her bid for congress failed.


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