Incumbents Heilman and Duran Win WeHo City Council Race


john duran, john heilman, west hollywood city council, election 2017, the chapel
Incumbent City Councilmembers John Heilman (left) and John Duran (right) at their rally at The Chapel. (Photo by James Mills)

UPDATE:  This story has been updated to note that information on uncounted mail-in and provisional ballots is likely to  be added to the vote  total later today, with that information posted on the city’s website.

Incumbents John Heilman and John Duran were re-elected to the West Hollywood City Council on Tuesday,  with challengers Steve Martin and Cynthia Blatt in the third and fourth positions.

The L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk reported at 1:40 a.m. today that Heilman had 2,252 votes, or 25.55% of the 8,813 votes counted. Duran had 1,929 votes, or 21.89% of the total. Martin and Blatt tied with one another, with each getting 1,532 votes (17.38% of all votes cast.)

Cynthia J. Blatt (Photo by Dennis Trantham)

Other challengers in order of their votes were Nate Clark, 469 votes (5.32%), Amanda Goodwin, 281 votes (3.19%), Carla Romo, 274 votes (3.11%),  Michael Cautillo, 236 votes (2.67%), Reed Stillwell, 172 votes, (1.95%) and Joel Quaresimo, 137 votes (1.55%)

The votes thus far are unofficial results and only include vote-by-mail ballots that were processed and counted up until election day, and ballots that were voted at polling Locations. There are additional vote-by-mail ballots and provisional ballots to be processed and counted. Provisional ballots would include those cast by a voter at the wrong polling place.

City Clerk Yvonne Quarker said her staff will reach to the county registrar-recorder today for an update on the count, which will be posted on the city’s website.

Some political observers had expected that this year’s voter turnout would be less than that in 2015, when 4,929 votes were cast in the March City Council election and 5,025 votes were cast in a special council election in June of that year. That expectation was based on the relatively late start of the campaigns and the belief that many voters have become wearied of politics after the contentious November presidential election. Assuming almost all of the  voters in Tuesday’s election voted for two candidates, the maximum allowed, the total number of voters as of early this morning would have been no more than 4,407. But it is not unusual for another 700 or 800 mail-in or provisional ballots to be counted later.

Traditionally it is clear by midnight who is winning a West Hollywood election, with votes counted locally in the City Council chambers. But this year the city was forced to merge its vote counting operations with that of Los Angeles County, which has Measure H, a tax to provide housing for the homeless, on the March 7 ballot. As a result, WeHo ballots were trucked to Norwalk where the county registrar-recorder’s office is doing the count along with that for 29 other cities and the L.A. Unified School District Board of Education election and the L.A. Community College Board of Trustees election. The registrar-recorder also is calculating votes on Measure S, a City of Los Angeles ballot measure that would put a moratorium on granting amendments to the city’s general plan for new construction projects and Measures M and N, which would establish a city tax and a permit program for marijuana sales.

West Hollywood City Council candidate Steve Martin
Steve Martin

That meant many candidates wrapped up their election night rallies without knowing the results.  Martin, who served on the council from 1994 to 2003 and lost three other re-election attempts, ended his campaign rally at V Wine Room at 11 p.m. “We are guardedly optimistic,” Martin said when asked about then his chances. “We’ve got a lot of people supporting us. … We’ll just see what happens.”

“People are very concerned about the density of the city,” Martin said. “People are very angry about the status quo. Volunteers have been popping out of the woodwork … We have a lot of support, including a lot of board and commission members ….It’s sort of like a resistance movement.”

John Duran and John Heilman also called it a night before midnight at their rally at The Chapel. “The preliminary results were very encouraging, very positive for us,” Heilman said then. “ …. I am just really humbled and, as I said earlier, it’s such a privilege to serve the people of West Hollywood.”

Duran declined to comment at  the time. Cynthia Blatt held a private gathering at her home to which reporters were not invited.

The election results aren’t official until later this month.  The county registrar-recorder has 30 days to count and canvass all of the ballots, which will include vote-by-mail ballots that may not yet have arrived. In an announcement of the process, the city said the registrar-recorder will try to certify the election results by March 29. The results then will be declared official by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors at its April 4 meeting.

The WeHo City Council then is expected to approve the certified election results at its regular meeting on April 17.  Heilman, who currently is the “mayor pro tempore,” will be installed as mayor at the City Council meeting on May 15.


  1. @Developement Woes Imposter: Very not so clever attempt to impersonate someone else and post a false comment.

  2. Kab1200, i may not live in WEHO for the last 5 months, i did vote by mail one of those 18% who voted, i own my properties in West Hollywood, and still pay my taxes.
    TLV is TRUE PRIDE for all PEOPLE.
    See you June 19. 2017.

  3. Okay so the city has spoken. Again. We all clearly like to build more so hopefully this sends a signal to the city council that listening to NIMBYs should be stopped. Let’s build, build, build. Ignore the vocal minority who wants to keep housing in weho expensive.

  4. Well now that the charade is over maybe D’Amico can get back to planet earth and get back to busting Heilman’s b*lls. I KNOW Horvath wants to be free of him – Stand up woman. What would Hillary Do?????? As for Duran – Whatevs. At least we still have Saint Lauren.

    @jj and sanger – dream on. Meister is here to stay.

    @ block really? U and the other fools are bragging about 5000 votes and less than a majority for the John Johns. Puhleeze. Get a grip. Get a clue. And get real – those numbers are as pathetic as the outcome.

  5. Money didn’t factor into my vote. How this City has been run in the past did. Heilman has always done a great job in making very sound, common sense decisions for this City and THAT is why he gets voted in again time after time. Same goes for Duran (although he does have his flaws, namely a lack of judgment when it comes to hiring people that he slept with but has always been a voice of reason on the board and THAT got him re-elected too). The rules are the rules and the two best candidates won. Congrats again to the winners!

  6. The #weho democracy sinks to a new low in real progressive leadership. Money bought this election not the residents vote. Specifically the money that was used by the Incumbents field workers to help a certain demographic fill out their ballots. The VBM games was played well. Its time for Election reform with this broken system. I call for all winners of council to need to get at least 50% of the residents vote. If this isnt accomplished in the first vote. A run off of the top 4 needs to occur.

  7. With Measure S overwhelmingly defeated in the City of Los Angeles and the re-election of Heilman and Duran I hope this puts to rest the notion that the majority of residents want to stop development. The only way to get people out of their cars is to make this city more dense. Mix-use, mix-use, mix-use!!! Heilman and Duran have been a key role in guiding this City in the right direction. The votes are in and the people have spoken. Congrats again to the winners!! Can’t wait for the Melrose Triangle and the Palm Project to be built..that will revitalize the very west end of Santa Monica Blvd.. Also looking down the road to the future Robertson Lane that will also transfer Robertson Blvd. for the better!

  8. With social media I don’t believe Duran and Hellman will be free from being exposed for their “close” ties to developers. More than 50 percent didn’t vote for them. They are now in the muckraking spotlight along with their developer all male buddies. Besides, like a lot of the new commercial space on Sunset isn’t renting.

  9. The results are exactly what they should be. Congratulations to Councilmember Duran and soon to be our Mayor Heilman. All is good and with hope abound.

  10. I was very happy to be part of the Heilman campaign effort and I view this as the first win in the battle to take back this country, Start at the most local level and keep working on expanding victories across the country so we have our country back in 4 years

  11. Heilman got a majority as much as you care to deny it. Duran was a strong second despite reasonable factors to consider alternatives. Higher than usual turnout. The anti-council outsiders led by Meisner have been rejected once again. No other way to spin it. The city has been saved from their damage.

  12. Congratulations to John Heilman and John Duran for moving the city forward!

    It would be a novel and positive move if the other candidates would elect to move forward in a collaborative manner with some of the specific ideas they promoted as solutions to see if they have weight. Proposals can be made through their council member of choice and/or with someone in the Community Development Division or whatever division houses their concern.

    Collaboration seems much more optimistic and will allow the anger and divisiveness to have a rest or a funeral.

  13. Numbers don’t lie. Heilman and Duran received 4,181 votes. That leaves 53% of votes cast (4,632) against their re-election. Their re-election is not a mandate.

  14. Sadly, nothing will change and ONLY worsen for WH middle class class/poor residents. Bernie Sander warned us about all of this during his presidential run last year. The problem with these people trying to break into WH city council is that there are to many of candidates. When will these people get it that the voter turn out is so low they they ONLY split the vote up by running which helps the incumbents. I moved from WH 2 years ago due to the traffic, high rent and the out of control development. These council member who won have plans to turn WH into a mini Las Vegas. Not the community and place to live it once was. VERY sad!!!

  15. Numbers don’t lie. 4,181 votes for Heilman and Duran. 4,632 votes cast for someone other than the incumbents. These numbers don’t change the outcome but it does say their re-election is not a mandate by any means.

  16. Give credit to John D’Amico and Larry Block for likely making the difference. Their endorsements likely pushed John Duran over the top, though John Heilman seems to have been safe. They saved the city from the disaster a Meisner/Martin/Blatt combo would have wreaked on the city. Congratulations to all the smart voters.

  17. Congratulations to Heilman & Duran. Very HAPPY with the results. West Hollywood continues to be THE place to live, eat, play & shop and Heilman & Duran have helped to make that happen. Happy to see they’re going to be here for a while longer to continue to guide the city in the right direction. The voters have chosen wisely.

  18. Change Just For The Sake of Change Is Foolish. You all should be grateful to live in such a magical city; John Heilman was there at the outset and has indefatigable energy to carry on.

  19. After all votes are counted I think we will hit 5000 voters and this election will surpass 2015 in number of voters. 200 votes swings the race from Duran so I’m excited to see the precinct breakdown. My guess is Boystown won it for the boys or at least Duran. That would be sweet irony blatt refused to join the other 9 candidates with their signs at the BlockParty shop which would have helped raise her awareness in that side of town.

    Despite the apparent results Blatt ran a good race with a very unknown field. Thinking two years back if she had to run against Heilman, D’Amico, Horvath, Meister, Guardarrama and even Block she would not have been in the top four candidates. And Martin – he could have pulled it off with better planning. But the experience counts and the experience wins!

  20. When you change NOTHING,
    NOTHING change.

    Enjoy, The next 4 Years.

    Once again, Money is WEST HOLLYWOOD, PRIDE.
    It’s not about right or wrong, good or bad,
    It is what it is. Those who pay for the candidate win, so expect more building, more traffic and more talking…

  21. Exact same shock and appointment as the day Trump won. They have 4 more years to bulldoze the rest of the city. Very sad.

  22. The per cent ages listed should be doubled. People get to vote for two candidates. The number comes from the number of voters not the total of double votes cast.

  23. congrats to duran and heilman. Bye Blatt. Don’t go away sad, don’t go away mad, just go away…..
    congrats to the other candidates for having the guts and caring to run.

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