By Daniel Larios
August 19, 2014 – Fourteen of the original 18 individuals who pulled papers to run for Santa Monica City Council have officially qualified for November’s ballot, according to the Santa Monica City Clerk’s Office.
Candidates, by order of their appearance on the ballot, include Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich, Peace Activist Jerry Rubin, incumbent Mayor Pam O’Connor, consultant Terence Later, former Lookout Columnist Frank Gruber, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Phil Brock and Non- Profit Consultant Nick Boles.
Also on the ballot are journalist Whitney Scott Bain, political newcomer Zoe Muntaner, incumbent Councilmember Kevin McKeown, Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon, 12 time perennial candidate Jon Mann, former mayor Michael Feinstein and Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy.
The LA County Registrar determines the ballot order by randomly choosing letters from the alphabet.
Some political experts believe appearing at or near the top of the ballot gives candidates a leg up.
Failing to make the ballot were Disabilities Commissioner Denise Neal, George George and Jessica Miller. Neal filed paperwork with the City Clerk’s Office, but did not receive enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Physical therapist Ken Robin pulled papers but dropped out of the race during the Santa Monicans for Renters Rights’ (SMRR) convention earlier this month in order to support Brock’s campaign.
Longtime Councilmember Bob Holbrook announced two weeks ago that he would not seek reelection, leaving at least one council seat wide open. (“Bob Holbrook Will Not Seek Seventh City Council Term,” August 8, 2014)
So far, a handful of political groups have made their endorsements for the three open council seats.
The slow-growth group Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) endorsed McKeown, Himmelrich and McKinnon last month. (“Santa Monica Coalition Makes Endorsements Four Months Before Election,” July 15, 2014)
SMRR did not make any endorsement for City Council during their convention, but the SMRR Steering Committee voted to support McKeown and Kennedy last week. A third candidate could possibly be chosen in coming weeks. (“Santa Monica Group’s Endorsements Spark Community Debate,” August 12, 2014)
Residocracy is set to make an endorsement through an online vote by its members. UNITE HERE Local 11 will also announce its endorsements soon.
In addition to submitting nomination papers, four candidates filed semi-annual campaign finance disclosure forms on Thursday.
Himmelrich leads the pack with a $30,000 loan to her campaign, followed by Feinstein, who was endorsed by LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin Tuesday, with $26,450, which includes a $24,495 candidate loan.
McKinnon has $24,637.50 in his campaign, including a $15,000 candidate loan, and Brock raised $8,340.10, including a $2,905.10 candidate loan.
The filing period for write-in candidates begins on September 8 and ends October 21.
The last day to register to vote for November’s election is October 20, with election day scheduled for November 4.
In order to qualify for the ballot, candidates needed to collect signatures from at least 100 registered Santa Monica voters and have them verified by the Los Angeles County Registrar.