Brandonisio ran for office for the first time last year when she was elected to the city council of San Diego, a district outside the industrial city of Valencia.
Gutierrez, a mother of three children under the age of six, said her political awakening came in 2007 during an earlier wave of student protests that she and her husband joined.
“We want to show the government that our city doesn’t fall on its knees,” she said.
Voters in the two cities, who overwhelmingly voted against Maduro in elections following the death of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez a year ago, are likely to agree, but national officials are keeping watch if protests flare anew.
“Whoever wins these elections, at the first false move, the authorities will act,” Maduro said last month after the date of the by-election was announced.
Those mayors who violate the laws will “meet the same fate as those behind bars,” he said.