CITY HALL — And they’re off.
Today the nomination period begins for candidates looking to run for the offices of City Council, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Rent Control Board, or the Santa Monica College District.
The nomination period will stay open through Aug. 8. Interested candidates have to pay a $25 filing fee and collect signatures from 100 registered Santa Monica voters.
The terms of three council members expire at the end of this year.
Kevin McKeown received the most votes in his last go-round in 2010, followed by current Mayor Pam O’Connor and then longtime Councilmember Bob Holbrook. Councilmember Ted Winterer, who would go on to win a council seat in 2012, fell 57 votes short of edging Holbrook out during that race.
None of the three incumbents, McKeown, O’Connor, or Holbrook, have officially announced their intentions for this year’s election.
Four challengers have already filed the financial paperwork necessary for the election. Current Planning Commissioners Richard McKinnon and Sue Himmelrich have filed financial statements, along with Recreation and Parks Commissioner Phil Brock and resident Kenneth Robin.
McKinnon received 8,041 votes in 2012, missing the last open slot by just under 4,000 votes. He’s hosting a barbecue and signing open house tonight.
Former Mayor Mike Feinstein has also announced he is running. Feinstein was elected in 1996 and won again in 2000 but was unseated in 2004, finishing ninth. This is his first election attempt since that loss.
Former Planning Commissioner Frank Gruber announced his intent to run last week. Gruber, an outspoken critic of the Santa Monica Airport, finished eighth in the 2012 election, missing the last open slot by just under 6,000 votes.
Perennial candidate Jerry Rubin has also announced his candidacy. In 2012, he received just over 3,000 votes. City Hall won’t let Rubin list “Activist” or “Peace Activist” as his occupation so he is pushing for “Activist Group Coordinator” or “Activist Sticker Distributor.”
Four seats on the SMMUSD Board of Education are up for grabs. Last month Boardmember Nimish Patel announced he wouldn’t run – citing increased duties at work and a desire to spend more time with family – causing the co-chair of the city’s largest political party to throw his hat in the ring.
Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein would step down from his position with Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights if elected.
Current Boardmember Laurie Lieberman is the only candidate to file financial paperwork. She received the most votes in her last race. Current co-Chair Ralph Mechur’s term is up as is Oscar de la Torre’s.
De la Torre, who is also the co-chair of the Pico Neighborhood Association, told the Daily Press last month that he hadn’t decided whether or not he would run for council.
Craig Foster, a Malibu resident, told the Malibu Times last week that he would also be running for the open seat. Malibu hasn’t had a representative on the board since 2008.
Foster was just 1,000 votes from breaking onto the board in 2012.
Current Boardmember Ben Allen is running to fill Ted Lieu’s State Senate seat. He’ll face off against activist Sandra Fluke in November. If he wins, he will have to vacate his seat on the board.
Rent Control Board
Three members of the Rent Control Board are up for reelection: Todd Flora, Bill Winslow, and Marilyn Korade-Wilson who each ran unopposed in their last election.