VACAVILLE — Former Mayor Len Augustine filed Wednesday to run in the Nov. 4 election for that post, citing issues that include the $2 million budget deficit Vacaville faces next year.
“We’ve got to really watch carefully how we spend money,” Augustine said.
He spoke about residents contacting him and hoping he’d run for mayor. “I started getting a lot of phone calls,” said Augustine, 76, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.
Augustine served as mayor from 2002-10. He was on the City Council for 14 years and was a planning commissioner for four years.
“After 18 years,” he said, “I’ve got pretty good name recognition.”
The former mayor praised public safety in Vacaville.
“We’re a very safe community,” he said.
Councilwoman Dilenna Harris said in a statement that she’s supporting Augustine, whom she described as “my dear friend and former colleague.”
“Len is a tested leader and ambassador at a time when Vacaville needs both,” Harris added. “He has the energy, time and respect necessary to bring our community and the council together and to move us forward.”
Harris said serving an effective mayor is a full-job and that she concluded now is the time her to continue as a councilwoman – and not as mayor.
Augustine retired as Vacaville mayor and then two years ago sought the 11th state Assembly District seat. He finished third among a field of six candidates in the June 2012 primary. The top two candidates advanced. Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, won the seat in the November 2012 election.
Incumbent Mayor Steve Hardy announced June 30 that he would not seek re-election. He cited a need to focus on his health. When Hardy followed though and did not file for re-election by Friday’s deadline, the filing period was automatically extended.
Hardy was elected to the Vacaville council in 2002. He ran unopposed in the next election. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 to be the director of the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. He resigned that post when he was elected Vacaville mayor in 2010.
Augustine with his filing joins Rodney Leon Harrison II and City Councilman Ron Rowlett as candidates for mayor.
Rowlett said Wednesday that, “I’m going to run the best campaign I can.”
“I believe I’m the best person for this position,” he said. “It’s time for the next generation to step up and become the leader.”
Harrison said, “I have nothing but respect for Len Augustine.”
“I wish him the best of luck in this mayoral race,” Harrison added.
There’s a contested race for Vacaville council as well. Incumbents Mitch Mashburn and Curtis Hunt are vying to retain their seats and challenger Cara Fox is seeking to take one of the two seats.
Glen Faison contributed to this report. Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.