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LA MESA -- While much of the political campaign world has gone hi-tech and electronic, running for office in the Jewel of the Hills has clearly remained decidedly low-tech.
As Labor Day, the traditional starters gun for campaign seasons, has come and gone, La Mesa candidates -- including two for mayor, five for City Council and a number of others seeking lesser roles -- have gone about business as usual. These are not big money operations.
Candidates are walking the neighborhoods, shaking hands and discussing the very local neighborhood issues that drive these very local elections.
The race for mayor is typical. There are no great debates planned, no singular moments where City Councilman Mark Arapostathis and La Mesa's long-serving Mayor Art Madrid will face off in an hour-long, video moment confrontation. CNN won't be here.
In fact, both Arapostathis and Madrid are busy having meetings with civic groups, neighborhood gatherings and chance meetings with constituents on the street.
Arapostathis says he remains confident that his years of service in his many roles -- teacher, community theater director, council member -- will support his campaign pitch to make La Mesa work better, together to support the quality of life that is key to this city. He says he has been appearing at continual meetings with neighborhood groups set up by friends and supporters to introduce him to the voters. He is confident.
Madrid is also moving among the voters, simply reminding all of his more than three decades in public office and he points to the quality of life La Mesa has maintained as a testament to his leadership.
"Just look around and see what's done and what they haven't got done,'' Madrid said. "I feel like I'm running against seven opponents.'' He cited Arapostathis, the remainder of the council members who have endorsed Arapostathis and several members of the La Mesa Citizens Oversight Group, a local political organization, as forming a unified opposition to Madrid winning another term.
Yard signs and signs in business windows have begun to pop up around town as the candidates for the two open council seats look to make progress as well.
There are a number of relative new names that will appear on the ballot in November. One chance to meet the candidates will be a Meet The Candidates Forum being hosted Sept. 18 by the La Mesa Chamber at the La Mesa Community Center at 4975 Memorial Drive. The doors open at 5:30 p.m.
For those who believe ballot position has an impact on election outcomes, the county did release the order in which candidates will appear on November's ballot.
Arapostathis will appear above Madrid in the mayor list.
For council, the order will be: