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Two more to challenge Marx 

In just the last week, two more people have indicated they plan to run for San Luis Obispo mayor, bringing the political playing field to at least five likely mayoral candidates.

Since May, four city residents have filed paperwork laying out their intent to challenge incumbent Mayor Jan Marx in the November election. As of press time, however, none of the four had formally submitted their official statements of organization, the next step in the process. The deadline to do so is Aug. 10.

On July 25—just one day after current city Councilman Andrew Carter announced he was withdrawing from the race to focus on family and financial obligations—local architect and property owner Stephen Barasch and resident Kevin Rice both filed the preliminary paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office.

Barasch is founder and president of Barasch Architects and Associates and a board member of the San Luis Obispo Property and Business Owners Association. He has been an outspoken critic of the city’s financial practices and is a regular at City Council meetings.

Rice is also a familiar face at city meetings, where he’s been critical of the city’s financial transparency and law enforcement regulations.

The newcomers join Oren Levy, who announced his intent in July, and who said on his Facebook page he intends to assist in the creation of small start-up companies, as well as dealing with homelessness in the city.

Community activist Donald Hedrick, a staunch critic of the city’s handling of the homeless population, filed his initial paperwork in May.

According to her most recent campaign filing, Marx’s campaign has raised $3,150 as of July 24, including a $1,000 loan she issued herself.

Councilmen John Ashbaugh and Dan Carpenter have both submitted campaign paperwork for new terms on the City Council. Carpenter has reported a total of $8,504 in contributions, including his own loan of $1,000. Ashbaugh had yet to file a campaign financial statement as of press time.

Both incumbents are joined on the ballot by Pacific Beach High School teacher Jeff Aranguena, who disclosed a total of $1,319 in contributions as of July 24, and SLO resident and homeless advocate Matthew Strezepek, who has yet to file a financial statement.

Councilmembers Carter and Kathy Smith have another two years remaining in their terms.

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