EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include the recently announced candidacy of Lindsey Horvath for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council.
At the moment, most political aficionados in West Hollywood are focused on the Nov. 4 general election. Will former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver or former state Senator Sheila Kuehl win the 3rd District seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors? Will West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang defeat John Morris, the deputy district attorney, in the race for county Assessor? Will attorney and Santa Monica-Malibu School Board member Ben Allen or attorney and activist Sandra Fluke, a West Hollywood resident, be the new District 26 state Senator?
But an election that could be much more of a game-changer for West Hollywood will take place only four months later on March 3. Seats held by longtime Councilmembers John Heilman and Abbe Land and relative newcomer Mayor John D’Amico, first elected in 2011, are in play. If Prang wins the Assessor seat, he’ll have to resign his Council seat by Dec. 31, which means the Council will be left to decide whether to appoint someone to fill the two remaining years of his term or to put the position on the March 3 ballot. That means an unprecedented four seats may be up for grabs on the five-member Council.
So far 11 candidates have filed the paperwork required to run for the City Council. However one of them, Lucas John Junkin, has told WEHOville that unless Prang’s seat becomes available, he’ll withdraw from the race so as not to take votes away from more senior challengers to the long-time incumbents.
“This isn’t about my ego,” he said. “It’s about inciting a positive change on the Council, and at this time I feel like I can better serve the bigger picture by supporting someone else with more momentum.
“I encourage Duke, Cole and some of the other newer faces to step down with me,” Junkin said, referring to declared candidates Duke Mason and Cole Ettman.
In addition to Junkin, Ettman and Mason, others who have declared their candidacy as of this writing are D’Amico, Heilman, Disabilities Advisory Board member and local retailer Larry Block, former City Councilmember and current Transportation Commission member Lindsey Horvath, former Planning Commissioner Lauren Meister, Sunset Gower Studios security executive director Matthew Fritch, city staffer Mike Gerle and Planning Commissioner Heidi Shink. Ettman, who manages a law firm, is a member of the city’s Public Facilities Commission. Mason is an actor and writer. Junkin is publisher of WeHoConfidential.com and an event promoter. No word yet on whether Councilmember Land will run for re-election.
While the 11 candidates already have filed statements declaring their intention to run, the formal nomination period begins Nov. 10 and ends on Dec. 5. That deadline would be extended to Dec. 10 if Land should choose not to file for re-election.
Those interested in running for the Council must contact City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at (323) 848-6409 to schedule an appointment to receive nomination papers.
Candidates also must file a Candidate Intention Statement prior to raising or spending campaign money. And when a candidate receives $1,000 or more in campaign contributions, he or she must file a Statement of Organization with Quarker’s office.
For those of us who just want to vote, the deadline for registering to vote for the March 3 election is Feb. 16. Registration can be done online.