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Twenty Candidates Pull Nominating Papers on First Day of Election Season
By Jorge Casuso
July 17, 2018 -- Twenty candidates -- eight of them incumbents -- pulled nomination papers for four local races on Monday, officially kicking off the 2018 election season in Santa Monica.
The City Council hopefuls include two incumbents, a local political activist who is co-sponsoring a ballot measure to impose local term limits and a member of a committee overseeing City finances.
Office seekers have until August to file their nominating petitions signed by at least 100 registered voters. If an incumbent chooses not to run, the deadline would be extended to August 15.
Councilmembers Sue Himmelrich and Kevin McKeown were among those who pulled nominating petitions for the November 6 ballot.
Councilmember Pam O'Connor, the other incumbent whose seat is up for election, did not pull papers.
O'Connor, who would be running for a record sixth four-year term, has in the past waited until later in the election season to announce her candidacy.
The seven Council challengers who took the first step on Monday include Mary Marlow, who heads The Santa Monica Transparency Project, a local watchdohg group.
Marlow and Himmelrich are sponsoring an initiative on the November ballot to limit each of the Council’s seven members to three terms ("Santa Monica Voters to Decide Term Limits for Council in November," July 5, 2017).
Other challengers include Greg Morena, one of two residents on the City's Audit Subcommittee and owner of The Albright seafood restaurant on the SM Pier.
Linda Armstrong, who has made several unsuccessful runs for City Council since 2004, also pulled papers Monday.
The other Council hopefuls who pulled papers were Ashley Powell, Mike Farid, Scott Bellomo and Mary Sampson.
Four challengers -- none of the incumbents -- pulled nominating papers to run for three seats on the Rent Control Board.
Landlord activist Elaine Golden-Gealer, who is a leader of the ACTION Apartment Association, will made her second bid in two years for a seat on the Board.
Only one landlord advocate, Robert Kronovet, has won a seat on the five-member board in its 40-year history ("SMRR Won't Challenge Kronovet Victory," December 8, 2008).
The other Rent Board hopefuls are Lori Brown, Naomi Sultan and Joseph Bonaventura.
Incumbents Nicole Phillis and Steve Duron are up for reelection. The other incumbent, Todd Flora, has been termed out after serving eight years.
The Rent Board is the only local body with term limits, which is part of the Rent Control Charter
Three incumbents -- Laurie Lieberman, Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein and Craig Foster -- pulled papers in the race for four seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District (SMMUSD) Board.
In the race for four seats on the Santa Monica College Bord of Trustees, incumbents Nancy Greenstein, Barry A. Snell and Louise Jaffe pulled papers Monday.
Boardmember Dr. Andrew Walzer has said he does not plan to seek reelection.
The only challenger who pulled papers was Ashley Powell, who also pulled papers for City Council.
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