Menlo Park City Council members Ray Mueller and Catherine Carlton have confirmed with the Almanac that they plan to run for re-election in November. They were both first elected in 2012 to four-year terms and their seats are the only two open in this year's Menlo Park council election.
Mr. Mueller announced his re-election campaign during a birthday event, where he turned 42, at Cafe Zoe, at 1929 Menalto Ave. in Menlo Park on the evening of Feb. 27. About 120 people attended, he said.
Ray Mueller (Photo: city of Menlo Park)
Catherine Carlton (Photo: city of Menlo Park)
Among the names: Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, state Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, all the county supervisors, and all of the sitting Menlo Park council members except for Ms. Carlton. Though Ms. Carlton is not a member of Mr. Mueller's host committee, she said the two candidates "wish each other well."
Former council members are on the list of supporters, spanning the political spectrum from Gail Slocum to Mickie Winkler.
Some supporters are Menlo Park residents who actively backed Measure M, a 2014 ballot initiative, defeated by voters, to restrict the amount of office development allowed by the downtown/El Camino Real specific plan. Mr. Mueller opposed Measure M, but said that despite differences of opinion, he has an "excellent working relationship with these individuals."
Several officials from Santa Clara County are named as supporters, including Santa Clara County Supervisor (and former state senator) Joe Simitian and Palo Alto Councilman and Mayor Pat Burt.
Asked whether his seeking support from beyond Menlo Park and even beyond San Mateo County suggests he is looking ahead to seeking higher office in the future, Mr. Mueller said: "I don't presume to know whether or not that'll ever happen." He said that in his work as city councilman, some of the issues he's sought to address have required the cooperation of county and regional elected officials, some of whom are members of the host committee.
Announcing a council campaign in February for a November election, given that the candidate filing period doesn't open until July, seems a bit early.
Mr. Mueller said his head start sends a message to community leaders that he's "not going anywhere."
"The sooner I can provide that (to) people, the better I'll be at achieving my policy goals," he said.
Some of those goals, he said, are to promote educational equity across Menlo Park; support bike and pedestrian infrastructure, including the installation of sidewalks along Santa Cruz Avenue; and improve the downtown area with on-street dining options for restaurants and an entertainment venue. He added he will try to be responsive to people who reach out to him seeking help from the city.
Ms. Carlton said she has not announced her campaign at a formal event because the election is several months off. However, she said, she is in the process of gathering a list of supporters and updating her website.
"I trust that Ray and I will win in November and continue to work on projects that move Menlo Park forward," she said.
Anyone over 18 years of age who is a resident and registered voter in Menlo Park can run for a seat on the council. Potential candidates can pick up nomination and other paperwork from the City Clerk's office. Go to the city website for more information for potential candidates.