Reinette Senum takes steps toward running for governor in 2022
Former Nevada City Mayor and Council member Reinette Senum has filed paperwork with California’s Secretary of State indicating that she intends to run for governor in the 2022 general election, records show.
State records show that Senum filed a Statement of Organization form with the Secretary of State’s Office earlier this month, with the document — titled “Senum for California Governor; Reinette” — indicating her candidacy for governor.
In an email statement, Senum declined to discuss the document, but specified that she is not running for this year’s gubernatorial recall race.
“There’s nothing to report on as yet,” she said, adding that her team will make an announcement when she’s ready to conduct media interviews.
The form’s submission is a necessary step for a candidate to getting on the ballot, and it’s also required by California law in order for a candidate to receive campaign contributions in excess of $2,000, according to Chris Miller, communications coordinator for the Secretary of State.
“Completing the 401 form means that the candidate has formed a ‘committee’ to run for governor…you have to have to create a committee before you can legally garner contributions,” Miller said.
The filing doesn’t necessarily mean that a candidate has already organized a sophisticated campaign or received a large amount in contributions, but rather is a largely preliminary step in the campaign process, said Jay Wierenga with the Fair Political Practices Commission.
A gubernatorial candidate seeking to get on the ballot is expected to file, generally in order, a Statement of Intention Form, a Statement of Organization, and a Statement of Economic Interests Form, Wierenga said.
It is not clear whether Senum has yet submitted a Statement of Intention, although she still has plenty of time to do so, Miller said.
In order to be considered as a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot next year, Senum must also also fulfill a number of other state requirements, including gathering nomination signatures, paying a filing fee, and meeting certain background standards, per the state’s website.
In 2008, Senum ran for City Council, serving from 2008 to 2012. She was appointed mayor for the first time in 2009. She ran again after a break, and served on the council from January 2016 to July 2020, when she resigned from the position after receiving public backlash over comments she made regarding state mask mandates.
“While I was voted in by majority last February I will kindly decline my position on the council for the 2024 term,” Senum said at the July 2020 council meeting, where she announced her departure. “And while I am not stepping down I am actually, interestingly enough, stepping up. I feel I can be of best service to humanity by focusing my energy on extending my reach to a broader audience, individuals who are equally concerned by these same issues and questions around the world.”
The council received more than 100 public comments in each of the previous two meetings calling for her to resign following her social media posts against the state’s mask mandate.
Senum had expressed considerable opposition to the mandates, arguing that such laws unduly infringed upon individual liberties. In a series of social media posts and comments at Nevada City Council meetings, Senum repeatedly urged the community to defy the restrictions, despite a letter from Gov. Gavin Newsom warning that the city could lose state funding over the issue.
The longtime councilwoman is also known for her outspoken stances on a number of other issues, including her vigorous opposition to 5G cellular technology, a stance that led to Senum taking considerable criticism from other City Council members in 2019.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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