West Hollywood City Councilmember John Heilman has endorsed fellow Councilmember John D’Amico’s bid for re-election in March.
With Heilman’s support, D’Amico now has the endorsement of all four of his fellow City Council members. D’Amico is one of three incumbent candidates running for re-election. The others are Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister. Heilman also has endorsed Horvath, as has Mayor John Duran. D’Amico has endorsed both Horvath and Meister, who are not expected to endorse one another because of their differences.
The three incumbents face eight opponents in the March 5 election. Endorsements from their fellow council members and from organizations such as the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club and the Stonewall Democrats are seen as important in attracting support from voters.
D’Amico used to have a difficult relationship with Heilman, who has been on the City Council since the city’s founding in 1984. He had made his opposition to Heilman a major focus of his initial City Council campaign in 2011. He then surprised many voters by endorsing John Heilman in his 2017 re-election campaign.
D’Amico’s positions have evolved in other ways. He surprised voters by announcing In March of this year that he was running for a third term, given that he had previously pledged to serve no more than two terms of office. He also had campaigned in the past against what he saw as too much development in West Hollywood. However, his first major fundraiser, at the London hotel in May, was hosted by Jeff Seymour, Steve Afriat and Jim Arnone, lobbyists who represent developers, billboard companies and others who seek to do business with the City of West Hollywood. D’Amico also has been a strong supporter of the Arts Club project on Sunset Boulevard, for which Afriat is a lobbyist and which has been opposed by Heilman.
Other candidates in the March election are:
Jack Cline. Cline is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. Cline also is a drag queen who goes by the name Jackie O.M.G. (Oh My Goodness). Cline is a representative for the California Nurses Association. He lives with another gay City Council candidate, Eric Jon Schmidt.
Tom Demille. Demille is an artist and former actor who has had four previous unsuccessful runs for City Council.
Duke Mason, who was unsuccessful in his 2015 bid for a council seat. Mason is a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and a former member of the board of West Hollywood Community Housing Corp.
Brendan Hood. Hood is associate director of business analytics at AT&T and has been an avid participant in the WeHo Dodgeball League.
Shawn Davis Mooney. Mooney has lived in West Hollywood since 1993. He has worked as general manager at Holiday Retirement in Napa and is a model and actor. His LinkedIn profile says that he worked in 2005 and 2006 as director of operations at House of Pedals, a florist on La Cienega Boulevard, and from 2010 to 2014 was co-owner of a Venice, Fla., flower shop. His IMDB profile says he played the role of a border patrol agent in this year’s “Where Dreams Rest.”
Eric Jon Schmidt. Schmidt, who lives with Cline, describes himself as retired. On his website Schmidt states that he was a fitness trainer in Las Vegas and Los Angeles for 20 year and was executive assistant to Monti Rock, He also worked in the coin counting room at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. Schmidt, who describes himself online as a “horny little sexhibitionist,” has claimed that 7,000 of his followers on the DudesNude.com porn site are West Hollywood residents who have pledged to vote for him.
Sepi Shyne. Shyne was appointed by Councilmember John Heilman in July to the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Her LinkedIn profile identifies her as the founder of Soulillume, which “offers energy healing for humans and pets, reiki and massage combo sessions, spiritual guidance, energy healing classes, energy healing products and inspirational e-books and seminars.” Shyne also practices business and trademark law and is former co-president of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles. She has been very much involved with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.
Marquita Thomas. Thomas, who is the executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, also is a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. She is a former member of Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that stages the annual LA Pride parade and festival in West Hollywood.