The race has not yet begun, but on July 14, the contestants will begin taking their places on the starting line, when candidacy-filing papers for the November election become available.

Two out of five seats are up for grabs on each of the three legislative bodies in Hesperia: the Hesperia City Council, the Hesperia Unified School District school board and the Hesperia Recreation and Park District governing board.

On the Hesperia City Council, incumbents Tad Honeycutt and Mike Leonard are up for reelection. Leonard has declared his intention to seek a second term, while Honeycutt has stated that he would not seek a third term.

On the Hesperia Unified School District school board, incumbents Bruce Minton and Helen Rogers are not expected to run for reelection, meaning two wide-open seats on the five-member board.

On the Hesperia Recreation and Park District governing board, Bob Chandler and Jack Hamilton are up for reelection.

In all cases, a candidate must be a resident within the body's district -- Hesperia city boundaries are not identical to those of the school or park districts -- and be a registered voter.

Would-be city council candidates must have their completed paperwork returned to the office of the Hesperia City Clerk by August 8 at 5 p.m.

As part of the paperwork, would-be city council candidates must collect 20 signatures of registered Hesperia voters.

"We encourage them to get 30," said City Clerk Vicki Soderquist. The buffer is recommended in case some of the signatories are no longer registered voters or do not live within city limits.

Although there won't be a definitive answer as to who will be running for city council until August, Soderquist said that three fund-raising committees have been formed as of July 2: Friends of Russ Blewett, Mark Kirk for City Council and the Committee to Re-Elect Mike Leonard. Candidates raising or spending more than $1,000 are required to form and register an election committee. For more information about the city council candidacy process, call 947-1027.

Would-be park or school board candidates must have their completed paperwork returned to the registrar of voters in San Bernardino by August 8 at 5 p.m. For more information about the school or park board candidacy process, call (800) 881-8683.

In all cases, the deadline is extended until August 13 if one or more incumbents on a governing body chooses not to run for re-election.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.