More Possible Candidates Emerge for the Nov. 3 WeHo City Council Election

Possible candidates, clockwise from the top left, are Farhad Yusupov, Tom DeMille, Christopher McDonald, and Jerome Cleary

The race for two seats on West Hollywood’s City Council may get a bit more crowded.

As of July 27 (Monday), four candidates have qualified to be on the Nov. 3 ballot. They include City Councilmember John Heilman and challengers John Erickson, Sepi Shyne, and Noemi Torres. Others expected to qualify soon are Councilmember John Duran and challengers Larry Block and Marco Colantonio. That brings the total number of candidates to seven for the two Council seats up for election.

However other possible candidates have emerged.  They have “pulled papers,” which means they have received from the City Clerk an official nomination form on which they must obtain the signatures of 20 West Hollywood registered voters. Those voters have to be validated by the L.A. County Registrar Recorder before a candidacy becomes official. The deadline for that is Aug. 7.

The possible new candidates are Jerome Cleary, Christopher McDonald, Tom DeMille, and Farhad Yusupov. 

Christopher McDonald is a stage manager at CBS Television, and Farhad Yusupov is a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty who also is a member of the city’s Russian Advisory Board.

Cleary and DeMille have run before. Cleary, a longtime resident of West Hollywood has performed as a comedian and served on the city’s Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board. If he ends up on the ballot, it will be the fifth time he has run for City Council.  He ran (and lost) in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005.  Tom DeMille, an actor who appeared on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” as a Klingon named Argon, was an unsuccessful candidate in five elections, with the most recent in 2019. DeMille stirred some controversy last year when he publicly defended Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, who was criticized for having appeared in a 1984 medical school yearbook wearing blackface. In his defense of Northam, DeMille shared a photo of himself in blackface in a movie he appeared in called “Panther.”

  1. None of these candidates have a chance, have money, and all of them profess we need change but sabotage the election. At least none of them are named John.

  2. It’s honestly hard to consider some of these people. With the exception of Jerome Cleary and maybe Tom DeMille (but hardly Tom as an exception at that) what have these individuals done civically?

    What aspect of their involvement in our community, city government, committees, advisory boards and the like have they been apart of and actually been involved with that would make them qualify as someone who we could deem as one of the next City Council leaders?

    It would be nice to have a ticket of candidates where I could say, “Oh he’s on this Committee, she’s on that advisory board, this person runs one of the local neighborhood watches.” Like something to give some genuine clout to some sort of qualification not just they think they can do better than our current council.

  3. Christopher McDonald Is a member of my HO A’s board. He would make an incredibly wonderful City Council person. Christopher is honorable, hard-working, really smart, passionate about the city, and savvy. He gets things done in a no nonsense smooth way and is a pleasure to work with.
    I wish that our campaign laws were better geared to putting what’s In the best interest of the citizens of West Hollywood above the obscene amount of money that developers have used to buy our elections

    1. Unfortunately with COVID 19 many of the usual methods for the voters to get to know candidates will be unavailable. Chris sounds like he has something to offer but perhaps rather than jumping in at the last minute, he should spend some time going to meetings, let the community know him and focus on the issues that are passionate to him. Maybe waiting a until the next election would make him a more viable candidate.

  4. Are these folks unable to find something productive to do for others aside from fanning themselves? It’s difficult to find an honorable qualification among them.

      1. Exactly right. The more candidates running, the greater the likelihood of the same old incumbents being re-elected. I’m sure the incumbents are thrilled to see more challengers. So many challengers just split the opposition vote, ensuring the incumbents get re-elected time and time and time and time again. Voters need to coalesce around a couple of highly qualified challengers to have any chance of remaking the City Council.

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