LANCASTER – Lancaster’s election season is officially under way with the opening Monday of the candidate filing period for the April 11 municipal election for the mayor’s post and two council seats. The 2006 election is guaranteed to see at least a couple of new faces because Mayor Frank Roberts is not seeking re-election. Roberts, who has been elected mayor five times, is endorsing his longtime friend and council colleague, Henry Hearns, for the post. The two council seats up for election are the ones held by Hearns and Ed Sileo. Sileo, who was elected to his first term in 2002, is seeking re-election and was the first person to take out nomination papers Monday. The filing period for the election was to end Jan. 13. However, when incumbents do not file to run for re-election, which will be the case with the moves by Roberts and Hearns, the filing period is extended five days. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The only other declared candidate thus far is Ron Smith, the city’s Planning Commission chairman, who is running for a council seat. Smith, a former sheriff’s deputy and court bailiff, is a graphics-design instructor at Antelope Valley College and has served on the Planning Commission since 2001. So far, 11 people have made appointments to take out nomination papers, said City Clerk Geri Bryan. Hearns, who has been elected to the council four times, served as Lancaster’s mayor in 1991 under the city’s old system of rotating the post among council members. During most of his years on the council, he has served as vice mayor. Hearns, who serves as bishop of First Missionary Baptist Church of Littlerock, is endorsed by all four of his council colleagues for the mayor’s post. Roberts said he intends to remain very politically active, but declined to say whether he would seek another elected office. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!