CITY HALL ‚Äî The balloted candidates for City Council have been whittled down to 14 from the 18 who pulled the necessary paperwork.
Candidates were required to collect signatures from 100 registered Santa Monica voters.
On Monday, the City Clerk and the Los Angeles County Registrar finished verifying the signatures of all the candidates who will appear on ballots this year.
Two of the filers are incumbents, Mayor Pam O‚ÄôConnor and Councilmember Kevin McKeown.
Another six have run before: former Mayor Michael Feinstein is running for the first time since his 2004 defeat, Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon was just about 4,000 votes shy of breaking onto council in 2012, former Planning Commissioner Frank Gruber fell a couple slots behind McKinnon in 2012, and Jon Mann, Terence Later, and Jerry Rubin, who have run in the last several elections, fell behind Gruber.
Planning Commissioners Jennifer Kennedy and Sue Himmelrich have thrown their hats into the ring this year. Kennedy has received support from the Steering Committee of Santa Monicans for Renters‚Äô Rights (SMRR), the city‚Äôs largest political party. Himmelrich was endorsed, alongside McKinnon and McKeown, by the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City.
Recreation and Parks Chair Phil Brock is running for the first time on a firm anti-development stance. Whitney Scott Bain, who favors the Santa Monica Airport, is also making his first run. Nick Boles says he‚Äôll make the city affordable for the next generation of Santa Monicans. Zoe Muntaner is often present during council meetings, speaking during the public input portion of the meeting about housing issues.
Longtime Councilmember Bob Holbrook announced earlier this month that he would not seek reelection, leaving one seat up for grabs and extending the filing deadline by several days for the candidates.
Despite setback, Mann pulls off qualification
Self-proclaimed “neomarxist revisionist / utopian Libertarian hybrid” Jon Mann has run for council in the last five elections and 11 times over the past few decades. A last minute hitch almost kept him off the ballot this year.
“When over 200 signatures and my clipboard mysteriously disappeared, I almost dropped out,” Mann told the Daily Press. “Fortunately by himself dropping out at the penultimate moment, Holbrook gave me the time I needed to collect another 250. I always collect extra signatures.”
Two other candidates, Muntaner and Later, turned in their signatures after Holbrook‚Äôs decision not to run extended the window.
Rubin not an activist (on the ballot)
Peace activist Jerry Rubin won‚Äôt get that title on the ballot. State law prohibits the use of the word “activist” as a title for any candidate, according to city officials. He asked that he be referred to as a peace activist, activists group coordinator, or activist sticker distributor. City officials told him that group coordinator or sticker distributor, without the word “activist” would be acceptable. Rubin has asked them to reconsider.
First outside spending enters election
Independent expenditures allow outside groups to support a candidate without coordinating with the candidates themselves.
Dexter Johnson, a director at Santa Monica College, has contributed $1,000 to “Re-Elect Louise Jaffe for College Board 2014,” the first independent expenditure of the election.
Jaffe is one of four incumbents running along with two challengers for four Santa Monica College Board seats.
As the races heat up, so will outside spending, which allows anyone from developers to political parties to individual donors to indirectly support (or oppose) candidates.