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Meet the candidates for San Bernardino’s vacant council seat

Three San Bernardino residents are running for the vacant 3rd Ward City Council seat.
In a special vote-by-mail election May 7, voters in the southern ward will elect either Treasure Ortiz, Juan Figueroa or Anthony Aguirre to be their new representative. Mayor John Valdivia vacated the council seat after voters elected him mayor in November .
The 3rd Ward, and the seven-member council at large, has been down a representative since Dec. 19 .
San Bernardino experienced one of the pitfalls of having only six city leaders last week. The council lost its quorum after three members  walked out of a meeting  Wednesday, Feb. 6, moments before a vote on adding staff in the mayor’s office.
The panel needs four council members present to have a quorum.
On her campaign website , Ortiz, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate and former city employee, says she has been a resident of the 3rd Ward the past seven years.
The 35-year-old businesswoman and educator vows to fix city streets, hire more local police officers, combat homelessness and be fiscally responsible.
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“As your next City Council Member,” Ortiz wrote in her campaign statement, “I will make that investment grow and help move the City and our Ward forward as it transitions from bankruptcy and plans for the future.”
According to his campaign website , Figueroa is a lifelong San Bernardino resident who grew up in the 3rd Ward.
The 40-year-old medical social worker and city commissioner says his top priority is to make the community safer. He also wants to combat homelessness, repair city streets and make City Hall more accountable and responsive to residents’ concerns.
“We must always put the people first at City Hall,” Figueroa said.
According to city officials, Aguirre pulled his candidate statement and ballot designation Monday, Feb. 11, effectively withdrawing from the race. Since he missed the deadline to officially bow out, however, city officials said his name still will appear on the May ballot.
The cost of the special election has yet to be determined.

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