By Shawn Raymundo
Councilmember Chris Hamm announced late Tuesday, May 19, that he will not be seeking a third term for local office this coming November, concluding an eight-year tenure on the dais.
“I wanted to announce this evening that I won’t be running for reelection this November,” Hamm said, near the conclusion of Tuesday night’s council meeting. “This is the end of my second term, and I look forward to continuing serving the residents for the next six months.”
Hamm’s seat is up for election this fall, as is the seat of Councilmember Gene James, who won last year’s special election to fill the remaining year of late Mayor Steve Swartz’s term. A third seat will also be up for a special election this year to fill the vacancy left by then-Mayor Dan Bane.
Hamm was elected to office in 2012 and reelected in 2016. He is a local firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority stationed in Talega and grew up in San Clemente as a member of the extended Forster family.
As of this posting, Hamm had not returned San Clemente Times’ request for additional comment.
Hamm’s announcement comes after formally backing a ballot measure that could potentially set term limits for councilmembers.
At the early-May meeting, the council voted to include the measure on the Nov. 3 election ballot, asking voters whether councilors should be limited to two consecutive terms. If passed, a councilmember could serve again after a two-year lapse in service.
When he motioned to adopt the resolution calling for the ballot measure during the May 5 meeting, Hamm stated that eight years is plenty of time for a person to serve on the council before noting that he was wrapping up his eighth year.
“I think it’s an opportunity to give people a chance to step up into a leadership role. I think it would be a really good thing for our community to see a diversity of faces here,” Hamm said. “I know that I’m coming up on my completion of a second term, which is eight years. I think that’s plenty of time for anyone to serve.”
This year’s General Elections are slated for Nov. 3. The filing period for candidates interested in running for San Clemente’s elected offices is scheduled to open on July 13 and close on Aug. 7.
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.