Patients at Coalinga State Hospital attempt to write-in sex offender as council member

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Although this time Michael St. Martin is not a valid candidate, the mayor of Coalinga wonders what will happen if the next time paperwork is filed on time.

Inside the walls of Coalinga State Hospital sexually violent predators are flexing their newfound political strength.

Last November, a number of the patients banded together voted against a penny sales tax, ultimately defeating the measure.

This election, they are trying to write-in a fellow patient as a council member.

"This again? I'm like we went through this last time with them being able to vote," said Coalinga Mayor Nathan Vosburg.

Michael St. Martin is the candidate the hospital seems to be rallying around.

But the convicted child molester told us he really has no interest in the job.

Somebody circulated his name without his permission.

"I have a lot of experience, I am pretty qualified but I don't see this as an option at this point," said St. Martin. "I don't think it would be a realistic idea for anybody in my situation to work within the community."

According to the Fresno County Clerk, write-in candidates need to file paperwork ahead of a certain deadline.

St. Martin never did and so votes with his name will not be counted.

That's little comfort to the families who live outside these walls.

"I just really don't think it's going to be a good representation for our town, Plus, do you want a sexually violent predator for your town? I would say most people would say no," said Mayor Vosburg.

The Mayor says he's relieved Martin does not qualify as a candidate for this election.

But he wonders what will happen the next time if the paperwork is filed on time.
Related Topics:
politicscoalinga state hospitalelectionvotingCoalingaFresno County
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