It’s official. To fill the three open seats on the Galt City Council, voters will pick from among five candidates who filed their nomination paperwork. The three incumbents are all seeking reelection, and two challengers are looking to join Council.
The incumbents are Mayor Shawn Farmer, Vice Mayor Paul Sandhu and Council Member Rich Lozano. Aiming to get onto Council are Tim Reed, chair of the Public Safety Commission, and Galt elementary school board President Tom Silva.
Farmer is finishing his first four-year term on Council; he, Sandhu and Lozano were elected at the same time in 2018. Farmer first served as vice mayor, and in late 2020, Council selected him as mayor; he was recently reappointed to the position. Farmer owns a telecom contracting business and co-owns the Coffee Shop Bakery with his wife. When he first campaigned for office, Farmer said he wanted to bring transparency to city government.
Sandhu, also finishing his first Council term, was chosen as mayor at the end of 2019; he then served as vice mayor, a position he was recently reappointed to. Sandhu owns the Best Western Galt Inn on North Lincoln Way. In a statement announcing his intention to run for reelection, Sandhu named public safety, transparency and advocating for local businesses among his priorities.
Lozano served as vice mayor after being selected in late 2019. Before joining Council, Lozano served for eight years on the Cosumnes Community Services District Board of Directors; he has also worked in law enforcement for the Elk Grove Unified School District. During his initial run for Council, Lozano cited public safety and government transparency among his major issues.
Reed is serving on the Public Safety Committee, and he was recently selected as the chair. Reed has experience as a paramedic, firefighter and fire dispatcher; he currently works for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. On his campaign website, Reed listed his priorities as public safety, parks and recreation, responsible spending, and addressing homelessness.
Silva is not seeking reelection to the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District Board of Education, in order to run for Council. Appointed to the board in 2018, he currently serves as the board president and represents Trustee Area 2, in western Galt between Orr Road and New Hope Road. He is a retired member of the U.S. Army.
The list of City Council candidates can be viewed on the city website at bit.ly/3KbC5tn (case sensitive).
The school districts have entered new territory this election cycle since both recently switched to “by trustee area” elections, in which only voters in a given trustee area vote for that area’s representative. Additionally, candidates must live in the trustee area they want to represent.
The elementary board of education has three seats up for election, those currently held by Silva, and by Trustees Wesley Cagle and Grace Malson.
Cagle, in Trustee Area 1, is running for reelection unopposed.
Silva and Malson have chosen not to seek reelection, causing the filing deadline for candidates in Trustee Areas 2 and 5 to be extended to Aug. 17.
As of Aug. 16, three candidates had filed to run for Silva’s seat: nonprofit administrator Katherine Harper, former Galt Mayor Lori Heuer and engineer Richard Estrada.
Annette Kunze, legislative director for the Franchise Tax Board and president of the Galt Teen Center, was the only candidate listed for Malson’s seat.
In the Galt Joint Union High School District, all three board members whose seats are up for votes — Trustees Mark Beck, Dennis Richardson and Melissa Neuburger — have declared their intention to seek reelection. No challengers emerged for any of the three.