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Final Candidates for City of Lancaster Open Councilmember Seat

Lancaster, CA. Mayor R. Rex Parris has completed the initial review of applications for the open City Councilmember seat. After thorough examination of the candidates' qualifications, contributions to the community, and potential for leadership, the field has been narrowed down to four exceptional candidates.

"These four individuals embody the spirit of Lancaster. Each one brings unique skills and perspectives that could contribute to shaping the future of our great city," said Mayor R. Rex Parris.

Highlighted below are the four finalists:

Irvine Carrillo

An architect with extensive experience in managing projects that involve various regulatory agencies, Irvine Carrillo is an advocate for creating opportunities for Lancaster's residents. Carrillo's previous roles on the Lancaster Architectural Design Committee, volunteer work with the Antelope Valley Young Entrepreneurs Academy, and Boys and Girls Club demonstrate his commitment to community engagement.

Rocio Castellanos

With a career that spans over a decade in public service, Rocio Castellanos has been a much-needed positive force in our community. Mrs. Castellanos has served in several key roles including but not limited to the AV Homeless Coalition, Director for Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, leader in shaping policies that directly benefit Lancaster, such as affordable housing initiatives and healthcare access programs. Additionally, she has been recognized with several awards for her advocacy work. She is also an active member of various local non-profits, focusing on programs that uplift underserved communities, and has completed several leadership programs. Mrs. Castellanos has a Bachelor of Science of Sociology.

Derek Luna

An educator by profession, Derek Luna brings a strong background in community service and governance. With a Master’s in Education, he’s not just a teacher but an educational leader who’s deeply involved in curriculum planning and fostering academic success among his students. His time as a board member on the Santa Paula Unified School District has shown him to be a leader in crisis, especially during the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. He’s known for his open-door policy, inviting input from both educators and parents alike. Beyond education, Luna is passionate about environmental stewardship, advocating for policies that encourage sustainable growth. He has been particularly involved in Lancaster's local green initiatives, including tree planting and community recycling programs.

Lauren Hughes-Leslie

A native of the Antelope Valley, Lauren brings a distinguished background in leadership and public service to her aspiration of serving the City of Lancaster. She is a graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and excelled in various roles as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army. With an educational background in systems engineering and law, Lauren’s multifaceted experience offers a rich perspective to the council. She actively contributes to civic leadership as the Alternate Director to Supervisor Kathryn Barger on the Southern California Railroad Authority (Metrolink) Board of Directors and Deputy Mayor for Lancaster. Lauren's blend of military discipline, analytical skills, and civic engagement equips her to make impactful decisions that benefit the community. Her commitment to excellence positions her as an outstanding candidate for city council service. Lauren is also a proud wife and mother of two school-aged children.

The City Council plans to discuss and review these candidates at the next City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 12.

The public is invited to join to participate in this crucial decision-making process.

"We encourage the public to get to know these candidates. It's an opportunity for community members to engage in dialogue and share their perspectives," said Mayor Parris.

For further information, visit the City of Lancaster's website or contact the City Clerk’s office.

Courtesy of : City of Lancaster

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