Incumbents Win Three West Hollywood City Council Seats

From left to right, Councilmembers John D’Amico, Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister, who won re-election on Tuesday, with fellow Councilmembers John Heilman and John Duran. (Photo by Jon Viscott, courtesy of the City of West Hollwyood).

The three incumbents running for re-election to the West Hollywood City Council led their eight challengers in a final account of vote-by-mail ballots received as of today and of those cast at polling places today.

Other ballots must be reviewed by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, which could result in a minor change in the totals.  They include provisional ballots, which are ballots completed by people at the wrong polling place. If the review determines that the voter is an authorized West Hollywood voter, such ballots are counted. There also may be more vote-by-mail ballots coming. Those ballots can be accepted as late as Friday so long as they are postmarked no later than yesterday.  The Registrar-Recorder will issue a final tally on March 22.

As of tonight, with all nine local precincts reporting, incumbent

Lindsey Horvath led with 2,917 votes, or 24.38% of the total. She was followed by incumbent Lauren Meister, with 2,708 votes, or 22.63% of the total. Incumbent John D’Amico got 1,840 votes, or 15.38% of the total.

Close behind D’Amico was Sepi Shyne, a lawyer who identifies as a lesbian and an Iranian immigrant who was making her first run for a City Council seat. Shyne got 1,582 votes, 13.22% of the total. Shyne was appointed by Councilmember John Heilman in July to the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. Shyne, who practices business and trademark law, is former co-president of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles. She has been involved with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.

Voters also overwhelmingly supported Measure B, a ballot measure that endorsed the City Council’s decision to make changes to the General Plan and zoning code to permit construction of the Arts Club on the property currently occupied by the Hustler adult store on Sunset Boulevard at Hilldale. Construction of the Arts Club has been opposed by Unite Here Local 11, the restaurant and hotel workers union. Sixty-one percent of voters (2,667) supported the Arts Club while 1,704 (38.98% voted against it).

Voters also overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal to levy a 7.5% tax on the sale of recreational cannabis in West Hollywood. That proposal, Measure Y, got 3,361 votes (76.2% of the total).

Other challengers for the three City Council seats and their votes are as follows:

James Duke Mason. Mason is a publicist and a member of the city’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board. He also is a former member of the board of West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. and waged an unsuccessful campaign for a City Council seat in 2015. Mason was endorsed by City Council members John Duran and John Heilman. He received 963 votes, 8.05% of the total.

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 board member of Christopher Street West, the non-profit organization that stages the annual LA Pride parade and festival in West Hollywood. She received 766 votes, or 6.4% of the total.

Brendan Hood. Hood is associate director of business analytics at AT&T. Since moving to West Hollywood nine years ago Hood has been active as a member of West Hollywood Dodgeball and Varsity Gay League and as a frequent volunteer for local progressive candidates. As a young man in high school and college, Hood interned in the district office of Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA) and on the first campaign of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA). Hood received 351 votes, or 2.93% of votes counted as of tonight.

Tom Demille. Demille is a former actor who has had four previous and unsuccessful runs for the City Council. He received 281 votes, 2.35% of the total.

Shawn Davis Mooney. Mooney is a former soldier and has worked as a model and actor and manager of two retirement communities. He received 235 votes, 1.96% of the total.

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. (O My Goodness). Cline is a representative for the California Nurses Association. He lives with another gay city Council candidate, Eric Jon Schmidt. Cline received 187 votes, 1.56% of the total.

— Eric Jon Schmidt. Schmidt, who lives with Cline, describes himself as a retired fitness trainer in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Schmidt also is porn performer on DudesNude, a site that provides videos of gay men in the nude and having sex. He received 136 votes, or 1.14% of the total.

Measure B was the focus of much of the campaigning in this election. Representatives of Unite Here Local 11, the restaurant and hotel workers union, hired petitioners to gather the required signatures of 10% of the city’s voters to put on the measure on the ballot in the hope that it could attract enough “no” votes to rescind the City Council’s decision to approve construction of the Arts Club. “Citizens for a Better West Hollywood,” the political action committee established by Unite Here, also paid for campaign mailers to convince residents to oppose the Arts Club project. In its campaign, it asked voters not to support incumbent John D’Amico and instead to vote for Sepi Shyne. D’Amico and fellow incumbent candidates Lauren Meister and Lindsey Horvath and Mayor John Duran supported the project. Councilmember John Heilman voted against it.

Even more money has been raised by “Yes on Measure B, Residents to Preserve the Sunset Strip.” That PAC was formed by VE Equities, a New York City real estate developer that is partnering with U.K.-based London & Regional Properties to build the Arts Club building. VE Equities has contributed $650,000 to the campaign for the Arts Club as of Feb. 21.


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Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D. (Historian)
Guest
Ty Geltmaker, Ph.D. (Historian)

These election turnouts are shameful. West Hollywood, tiny as it is at just under 2 square miles, needs to divide into five electoral districts so that candidates would campaign with an ear to serious neighborhood issues where they actually live, instead of the anodyne, generic blah-blah that anesthetizes the majority of would-be voters who don’t see any point in going to the polls.

Carlos McKinney
Guest
Carlos McKinney

So close, Sepi, so close. Really wanted to see John D’Amico go down. He’s changed for the worse since he won his first election eight years ago. Thankfully he can’t run again!

Randy
Guest
Randy

Measure C passed in 2013. Mayor D’Amico was in office already, first elected in 2011. I personally like Mayor D’Amico, and think he has done a good job on the Council. His decline in votes this week was largely due to a misinformation campaign that said “he’s against affordable housing.” “Future West Hollywood City Council members will now be limited to three four-year terms in office after voters approved Measure C Tuesday night… The approved measure will not immediately affect council members currently in office. They will now be allowed to serve three additional four-year terms.” https://patch.com/california/westhollywood/term-limits-for-city-council-members-approved — Unless I… Read more »

michaelz
Guest
michaelz

how do we get rid of our lawn signs ?????

Michael G
Guest
Michael G

The bottom line is John Duran is the elephant in the room and must resign from the city council ASAP.

Otherwise the WEHO muckrakers for the next two years are going to relish in making life miserable for the weak elected officials on the City Council that won’t demand Duran must go.

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

Congratulations to all.

Next time the debates – and CC hearings are offered live for our pleasure, please try for more professional audio. Even w/headsets, I can’t hear.
Only Mr Schmidt’s recordings of his own statements are audible.

TheRealZam
Guest

Congratulations to Lindsey, Lauren, & John on their re-election. I look forward to the benefits of your experience to our wonderful city & you all enjoy my enthusiastic support. I’d also like to congratulate the other candidates on their great campaigns and success in spite of not winning the election: Sepi: Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with you or even learn about your vision for the future of our city. Still, I congratulate you on your amazing results. James: You ran a great campaign which indicates your tremendous potential in the political realm. I encourage you to… Read more »

The Real Zam
Guest

These results once again show that exceptionally loud minority of citizens who do nothing but object to any project which increases the availability of any type of real estate in our city, and complain about the actions of city hall (especially the elected officials there in) are very much a minority. This is even more true given the much greater voter turnout of the aforementioned minority. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe those of you who fall within that category deserve their seats at the table, but I truly feel as though the level of vitriol prevalent in commentary… Read more »

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin

WEHOville welcomes op-ed submissions from all readers. Our mission is to be the community forum for West Hollywood, providing the facts and also providing a platform for people on all sides of an issue to express themselves.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Congratulations to those who won. Jack and I knew we wouldn’t win, but it was fun. Plus, as a result I have added 300,000 new followers on dudesnude making the total very close to 3 million. Jack and I have four trips, planned this year so we are glad that we don’t have to cancel any of those. I will be running again in 2020 and have updated my website to reflect that. I will file my intent to run tomorrow and begin Campaigning right away. I will be at every City Council meeting that I can and still work… Read more »

Give it a rest
Guest
Give it a rest

Bravo, Mr. Schmidt! You just admitted what was long known and commented on here and elsewhere, that your campaign was merely a marketing ploy to garner attention for your quaint amateur porn career. You made a mockery of the system and proved yourself a total fraud in the process. Shame on you, assuming you have the capacity for shame.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

See you in 2020

Credibility?
Guest
Credibility?

Only 136 voters bought into your credibility. Making wild claims without any verification whatsoever for 300,000 new followers and a total close to 3 million is well…….just wildly irresponsible and laughable. Your partner publicly expressed that he thought you should tone it down. Now those figures might be believable if they were followers of the “Legend In One’s Own Mind Society” but any number of fake followers can be bought multiple ways on the internet. Oftentimes oversharing is not productive in the grand scheme of things. There must be a name for this pathology but meanwhile enjoy your glory near… Read more »

Give it a rest
Guest
Give it a rest

It is important to distinguish between followers and number of views, and even within number of views, it is important to distinguish unique views. Numbers can be twisted and in this case Mr. Schmidt is reported his alleged views, not his followers. There is a clear distinction. One person looking at his profile 100 times counts as only one follower.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Eric also said, in comments on the following article, on April 5th of last year: “Thanks to Henry I now have almost 7000 West Hollywood Residents who are registered voters who pledged to vote for me by absentee ballot.” https://www.wehoville.com/2018/04/03/eric-schmidt-wehos-transparent-city-council-candidate-show/ Unless I am mistaken, it takes a mere 20 signatures to get on the campaign ballot, which is ridiculous. 136 votes, and he is claiming to run again, already. If he was serious about running in 2019, he would have shown up to more than one of three candidate forums, and actually answered the questions posed in this publication, regarding… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

I will bet none of you who don’t like me have ever read my website. wehoeric.com At least have some information before you come at me like angry towns people with torches. My profile addresses all of the problems in Weho and solutions. dudesnude is a very small part of who I am. I don’t even answer the 200 e mails a day, someone else does it for me. It just so happened the viewership increased when the info went international on Gay news outlets. It was not my intention.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Eric, I have read your web site, and agree with a lot of your positions. My problem with you is bragging about hits to your DudesNude page. Lying about your video profile, which was linked to from your DN page, even though you say someone stole your laptop and created it. Not significant to the election, but the lying, is. Flip-flopping on so many issues. Not participating in public discussion, such as candidate forums (only 1 out of 3) and not answering serious questions posed by this publication, which the public wants to know the answers to. Claiming you had… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest
Larry Block

It appears there were about 4500 total voters. Measure B had 4371 yes and no votes combined and Measure Y had 4411 yes and no votes combined. Each voter had a chance to select up to 3 candidates and there were 11996 votes total cast. The election showed us many things.. for one, the nude dudes did not not come out to the polls. EricJon who touted 7000 nude dude votes picked up the caboose with just over 100 votes. His partner drag queen Jackie O who participated in only the last debate was barely a fly on the wall… Read more »

Mirror
Guest
Mirror

“Lets hope that 2020 is about the issues”. Issues like misogyny perhaps? I walked by a shop that had “Men Just Taste Better” t-shirts. Besides the crassness, what’s that doing to dispel the stereotype of the woman-hating gay man?

Larry Block
Guest
Larry Block

We carry lots of products so get over it. Vendors put their lines in the shop and we don’t design every piece.

D
Guest
D

Nothing new here.

carleton croninc
Guest
carleton croninc

About a 45% turnout of the city’s estimated 26,000 registered voters. Ho hum. Just another dumb election? A shameful turnout in the Creative City.

Alan Strasburg
Guest
Alan Strasburg

Correction, one can’t determine the percentage of registered voters who cast ballots by the number of votes counted since each ballot can vote for up to three candidates. The actually number ballots cast is probably around 4500, which means a voter turnout of somewhere around 18%. I agree that 45% is shameful, now I’m searching for a word to ascribe to an 18% voter turnout. The bar for election is now at approximately 7% of registered voters (1840/26000).

Randy
Guest
Randy

Yes, 4929 ballots were cast 4 years ago, or 20% of registered voters. I’m sure they will publish the number of ballots cast for this election, at some point, but it will probably be around the same percentage. https://www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=19568 18%-20% is indeed shameful, but I believe many younger voters are simply complacent, ignorant, or completely unaware, for a variety of reasons. These include the idea that they don’t intend on living in this community long-term. They can’t afford to own property. They haven’t lived in rent-controlled housing for 15+ years. They aren’t invested in larger community issues, and don’t even… Read more »

Thomas Brueggemann
Guest
Thomas Brueggemann

It will be days before we know the actual count. Mail ballots postmarked by yesterday will be counted. So it will be higher. The last mayoral/council race in LA IIRC got something under a 15% turnout. 50% would be very high for an early March election with nothing else on the ballot.

Chris Sanger
Guest
Chris Sanger

I know this is how the Co & City Clerk report this, but the %s for candidates are misleading. The % should be from # of voters since up to three votes could be cast for council members. The making it by dividing the votes of the candidates way lessens the sense of their total support. We don’t have total # of votes cast yet, but can guess some from the propositions (which though do have a fall off usually with some not voting). The rough tally would be that Horvath got about 65%, Meister 62%, D’Amico around 45%. So… Read more »