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Nine candidates have filed to run for city council

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Voters can add Paul Merritt’s name to the list of nine candidates running for a seat on the City Council who have picked up nominating papers from City Clerk Lisette Chel Walker, the city’s Election Official. 

Merritt, a 1965 graduate of Laguna Beach High School, was elected to the Laguna Niguel City Council in 1989, the year the city was incorporated, and re-elected in 1992. He ran both times under the name of Paul M Christiansen.

Merritt showed up on the 2014 list of Laguna hopefuls and after losing that election, ran for the US Senate in 2016, both times using the name of Merritt.

He lost the council race to retiring Mayor Kelly Boyd, Toni Iseman and Rob Zur Schmiede, whose terms are up this December. 

Boyd has declared himself out of this year’s election. Zur Schmiede is definitely in. 

As of Thursday, Councilwoman Toni Iseman had yet to commit officially to running for an unprecedented sixth consecutive term.

Neither Iseman nor declared candidate Peter Blake has picked up nominating papers. Incumbents must file the endorsement papers by August 10. 

The rest of the candidates get an extra five days to file, until August 15, because at least one incumbent is not running. Only Judie Mancuso, who was the first candidate to file an intent to run, and Lorene Laguna have filed their nominating papers. Twenty signatures are required, to be verified as registered voters in Laguna by the Orange County Registrar of Voters. 

Also in the race as of Thursday: Sue Kempf, Ann Christoph, Cheryl Kinsman, Elizabeth Bates and Allison Mathews.