Former Fresno City Council Member Brad Castillo will not seek a seat on the Fresno Unified school board, and it now appears three people will vie to replace outgoing trustee Larry Moore.
On the other end of the spectrum, colorful and controversial former Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez is seeking a return to his city's council.
Castillo said Friday his father has some serious medical issues and needs a lot of care and attention.
"My family has pulled together to help out," he said. "It would be selfish of me to continue to run for office knowing my family has pulled together to help my father."
The decisions by Castillo and Lopez were among the few surprises Friday, which was the last day for candidates to file to run in the November general election.
Fresno County election officials still are sifting through the paperwork, and won't likely have a final number until this afternoon, but as of Friday, 267 hopefuls were on the ballot, county Clerk Brandi Orth said.
Many of the candidates headed to November already were known.
They were the congressional and state Assembly hopefuls who qualified in the June primary. That election also narrowed the candidates for District 2 on the Fresno City Council, where business owner Steve Brandau and restaurateur Pat Di- Cicco will face off.
The unknowns headed to November were largely focused on area school boards -- including not only those in Fresno, Clovis and Central districts, but the State Center Community College District as well.
With Castillo out in the District 2 race, it likely leaves educator and NAACP leader Daren Miller, a high school counselor in Madera; Luis Chavez, chief of staff for City Council Member Sal Quintero; and Esmeralda Diaz, a parent who in the past has unsuccessfully run for the Fresno school board.
Moore, the incumbent, had supported Castillo, and there was speculation he might reconsider his decision not to seek reelection. He didn't. Because he isn't running, the filing period for the seat is extended until Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Moore now cannot run.
In the other two Fresno Unified trustee districts up for election, the incumbents are running.
Carol Mills, the District 5 trustee, is being challenged by business consultant Andrew Doris and Nicholas Montoya, who is a case manager.
District 6 incumbent Janet Ryan is facing five challengers -- commercial property lender George Whitman, retired teacher Ken Trapp, business owner Jennifer Tyler, insurance agent Carole Blomgren and Daniel Harrison, who lists his occupation as "economist/music teacher."
Recent history has given Clovis school board incumbents an easy road to victory. In 2010, the three incumbents had no challengers. It was the same in 2008, and one seat had nobody file.
This year, however, two of the four seats up for reelection have two candidates.
In Area 5, accountant Richard Lake is trying to recapture the seat he gave up in 2008. He will face the man who replaced him, Scott Troescher.
In Area 7, Debra McKenzie, an administrative analyst, is challenging incumbent Christopher Casado.
No challengers had filed to face incumbents Ginny Hovsepian and Brian Heryford.
Recent controversy over pay raises for some of the district's top employees figured to fuel the November election, and each of three incumbents seeking reelection has a challenger. What is unknown is whether the recent pay raise dispute led to the challenges.
One of the challengers, real estate broker Becky Scott, said that, urged by friends, she had decided to run long before the pay raise dust-up.
"I was a little concerned (by the pay raises), but I know that they have to have good people at the top," Scott said. Still, she added, it probably was "not the best time to do that."
Scott is challenging Area 5 incumbent Cynthia Berube.
Other races: Area 3 incumbent William Duane Peverill faces special education teacher Leonard G. Ramirez; and Area 6 incumbent Terry Cox faces certified public accountant Gene H. Kezirian.
The other board that could see some spirited races is the State Center Community College District.
Each of the four seats up for election has at least two candidates.
The biggest change is the departure of longtime trustee William J. Smith, a local attorney. Because he won't seek reelection, candidates can file for his District 2 seat up until Wednesday at 5 p.m. Four people have filed to run: educator Eric Payne; businesswoman Paulina Miranda; retired real estate appraiser Phil Maher, who has run for the seat before; and case manager Brian Murillo.
In District 7, incumbent Richard Caglia, a local businessman, is being challenged by Kevin Hall, a clean-air advocate who is also a progressive activist.
In District 3, incumbent H. Ronald Feaver is being challenged by retired school administrator John Leal.
In District 6, incumbent Patrick E. "Pat" Patterson is being challenged by school administrator David Austin and financial adviser Marion Montgomery-Austin.
Orth cautioned that her office still is working to establish a final candidate list, so at this point everything is tentative.