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Menlo filing deadline extended to Wednesday

Incumbent Andy Cohen decides not to run for third term

The pool of Menlo Park City Council candidates shrank by one, as Councilman Andy Cohen decided not to follow through on running for a third term.

Candidates Dave Bragg, Ray Mueller, Catherine Carlton, Kelly Fergusson and Carolyn Clarke collected the required 20 signatures from city residents and filed their paperwork by Aug. 10. With one incumbent not running, the deadline to file is extended until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, according to the city clerk's office.

Although campaign season has now officially begun, the candidates have already been busy building support. Ms. Carlton counts former council members John Boyle and Mickie Winkler among her endorsements, along with Councilman Peter Ohtaki, Commissioner Kelly Blythe and Menlo Park Fire Protection District board member Virginia Chang-Kiraly.

As for the single incumbent seeking re-election, Ms. Fergusson announced endorsements from local business owners Clark Kepler, Nick Sharma, Kathleen Daly, as well as Supervisor Dave Pine and Planning Commisioner Katie Ferrick. She said several former mayors are also backing her campaign.

Some of the same names pop up on Mr. Mueller's extensive list of endorsements – Mr. Boyle, Ms. Winkler and Ms. Ferrick, for example – although he's gotten the support of the entire Planning Commission as well as the Transportation Commission.

Both Ms. Fergusson and Mr. Mueller filed campaign finance reports as well. The councilwoman reported $3,355 in contributions from Jan. 1 through June 30; that includes $2,500 she loaned herself. Fourteen donors chipped in; some, like fire district board member Rob Silano, downtown business owner Mark Flegel and Burlingame Councilwoman Terry Nagel, gave $100 apiece.

Mr. Mueller's balance sheet showed $2,700 – all from himself – for June 1 through June 30.

First elected to the council in 2004, Mr. Cohen, 72, wasn't immediately available for comment on his decision to not seek re-election. He ran for the county Board of Supervisors earlier this year, but failed to make the run-off during the June primary, coming in sixth out of seven candidates with 4,723 votes.

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