By Jorge Casuso
September 27, 2012 -- City Council hopefuls who missed the August 15 deadline to file nominating petitions or realized too late that they would like to spend the next four years poring through staff reports and sitting through endless meetings can still throw their hats into the ring.
Write-in candidates for council, as well as Rent Control and School boards, have until October 23 to submit their nominating petitions with the signatures of at least 100 registered Santa Monica voters.
Although their names will not appear on the ballot and their statements will not be published in the City's supplemental election booklet, their names will appear on a list of write-in candidates at the polling booths.
"No one has filed so far this year," said Assistant City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren. She noted that voters must take the "extra step" of writing in the name, rather than choosing from those presented on a list.
The chances of winning a seat as a write-in candidate are slim to none. Only three candidates -- Jeff Decker, Terrance Later and Dolores Press -- have been listed as write-in candidates in the past 30 years.
In 2010, Decker, who owns "The Yard" pub in Downtown Santa Monica, decided to run for one of three open seats, hoping to capitalize on the youth vote that helped propel President Barrack Obama into the White House two years earlier, according to an article in the Corsair.
His 56 votes were 12,719 short of the 12,775 votes garnered by incumbent Bob Holbrook, who finished third in the race for three open seats.
Terrance later did better as a write-in candidate in 2008, getting 238 voters to pen in his name. Still, Later -- who made the ballot in 2010 and again this year -- was 16,964 votes shy of the 17,202 received by incumbent Herb Katz, who finished fourth in the race for four open seats.
The only candidate to mount a serious challenge as a write-in was incumbent Dolores Press in 1984. Press had been among the four Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR) candidates who took over the City Council in 1981, but she failed to gather the necessary signatures to make the ballot in 1984.
Press, who had the SMRR political machine behind her, finished seventh in the race for three open seats, winning 12,652 votes as a write-in candidate.