Nine candidates are competing to fill the two open Cypress City Council seats on Tuesday.

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The newly-elected City Council members must grapple with the economic downturn that has followed the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are the candidates:

Blaze Bhence, a Cypress resident for over 20 years, will prioritize increasing city-provided services for children and the elderly, defining specific plans for the Los Alamitos Race Course and the Lincoln corridor, budget transparency, and improving public safety, according to his campaign website.    

Cole Thompson, a political science major at Cypress College, describes himself as an engaged individual, having served on Cypress High School’s school site council and as a peer leader for an Anaheim Union High School District program, according to his campaign website. Thompson values public service, and is an advocate for student engagement in the community. 

David Gersten, a resident since 2007, has always valued community, and intends to focus on items such as mental illness awareness, enhancing community pride, city beautification initiatives and business recruitment, according to his campaign website

Carrie Hayashida, a businesswoman and philanthropist, is a 25-year resident, according to her campaign website. Hayashida supports creating collaborative partnerships to support the city and incorporating sustainable practices to reduce the carbon footprint. 

Anne Hertz has been a volunteer and leader in the community for 25 years, according to her campaign website. She believes the “economy and community will recover from the impact of COVID-19” if everyone works to maintain public safety, promote businesses, preserve fiscal stability, and provide a high quality of life for all, she says on her website.

Rachel Strong, a longtime Cypress resident, advocates for local control of the city and its funds, challenging new taxes and fees, and maintaining Cypress development to match the community’s shared vision, according to her campaign website. Strong also hopes to enhance the support for seniors and children, and for rebuilding local businesses. 

Steve Mauss, a resident for 20 years, wants to “L.I.F.T Cypress higher, together”, through law and order, integrity, fiscal responsibility, and transparency, according to his campaign statement. Mauss believes the community must unite to accomplish great tasks, now more than ever.

Frances Marquez is a mentor for the deaf and hard of hearing, and her family has lived in Cypress since 1974. Marquez prioritizes keeping residents safe and protecting the local economy through securing relief for senior citizens and small businesses, according to her campaign website.

Jimmy Fuller, a board member of various Cypress organizations, will focus on public services like community support, the local economy, public safety, recreation, and education, according to his campaign website. Fuller intends to commit to not raising taxes, maintain Cypress’ “small-town feel,” partner with youth sports groups, and collaborate with law enforcement to ensure the community’s safety. 

Marquez has fundraised more than all other candidates, with $36,451 received in contributions from Jan. 1 through Oct. 17, according to her campaign finance disclosure statement. Hertz follows closely behind with a total of $34,607 within the same period. 

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