By Andrea Swayne

Nine hopefuls for the upcoming Dana Point City Council election have been verified by the Orange County Registrar as official candidates.

According to City Clerk Kathy Ward, as of the 5:30 p.m. Wednesday filing deadline, nine of the 12 potential candidates who pulled papers had returned their forms, complete with the required 20 nomination signatures from registered Dana Point voters.

Those now officially in the race are: Roy “Ryan” Divel, Nancy Jenkins, Harold Kaufman, Joe Muller, Jody Payne, Chuck Rathbone, John Tomlinson, Alan Wickstrom and Richard Viczorek.

Martin Chokany, Denise Erkeneff and Anthony Kelly pulled papers but did not return them.

Candidates will vie for three open spots on the five-member body. Mayor Lisa Bartlett and Councilman Bill Brough are seeking higher office and Councilman Steven Weinberg is terming out.

Bartlett is running against Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming for Pat Bates’ Orange County Board of Supervisors 5th District seat. Bates is running unopposed for State Senate. Brough will face Wendy Gabriella in the 73rd Assembly District race.

The Secretary of State’s Office will perform a random drawing Thursday to determine the order in which municipal and all other election candidates will appear on the November ballot.

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