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Three candidates have qualified for the Whittier City Council District 2 election as of the deadline of January 20th 5pm. The final qualified candidates are Mary Sullens, Michael Kazarian, and Octavio Martinez.

The lack of an incumbent means the race is wide open at the moment. The election is 3 months away which is enough time for the candidates to trade positions in the race.

In District 4 where only the incumbent has qualified, Assistant City Clerk Juan Esquival said the City Council will be making a final decision as to whether to continue with that election at their next meeting. As of last Friday's filing deadline, only incumbent Councilmember Fernando Dutra had filed to run in District 4. A recent Whittier 360 investigation found that while most contributions to Dutra's campaigns were from outside the City of Whittier, almost all of them were from individuals with contributions from Unions and Real Estate Pacts being relatively muted. The individuals contributions from outside the city were likely from friends and acquaintances given the small amounts on average (between $200 and $500) that were given from both within the city and from outside the city. As with Vinatieri, Dutra has his own following among Whittier voters. Even the donations from the electrical workers union and the real estate political action committee were likely more closely tied to Dutra's work relationships in the industry than to any thing nefarious. The fact that most of the contributions in District 4 came from individuals testifies to just how popular the incumbent councilmember is in the community and among his peers. Of the hundreds of contributions Dutra received, only 3 or 4 have come from unions and PACS so far and those were for far less than unions and PACS usually give to local council elections. But there has been increased concern about outside meddling in local council elections which may have contributed to the muted outsider contributions. In the meantime, local residents are stepping up and opening their wallets to help candidates fill the void.

The confirmed candidates for the Mayor's race are incumbent Joe Vinatieri, community activist Rolando Cano, and Leslie Savage.

Whittier 360 will reach out to the candidates in coming days to set up 360 video interviews and the Whittier 360 2022 Candidate Debate. There will be more information on the debate coming up but it will cover only one topic that is yet to be determined. The community will have input as to what topic the candidates discuss.

When asked about the redactions on campaign finance forms that are available at the City's Website, Esquival said it was done to protect the privacy of the donors. He also said that news agencies could put in a request for unredacted versions for legitimate news purposes.

When asked about redistricting, Assistant City Clerk Juan Esquival said the City of Whittier had to chosen to redraw the districts after the election in order to avoid confusion and make it as easy as possible for Whittier voters to cast ballots in the April election. He said the new districts should be ready around June or July this year but that those were tentative dates. When asked about who makes the final determination on when the districts are redrawn, he said the city has written rules in the charter that it has to follow whenever redistricting falls into an election year.

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