Races for local elections are starting to take shape, with multiple candidates signaling they intend to run for City Council, Santa Monica-Malibu school board and Santa Monica College board.
As of press time, the individuals filing paperwork with the City Clerk include three incumbents and one challenger for council, two incumbents for college board and one incumbent and one challenger for school board.
Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy sent a press release on June 22 announcing her intent to run for council, but she had not filed any paperwork with the Clerk’s office by press time.
“I’ve lived in our City for 17 years and my family and I are investing our future here — I will be asking the voters to trust me to serve them on the City Council,” she said in her statement.
Kennedy ran in 2014, taking sixth place out of 14 candidates. She ended the race with 5,037 votes, or about 8.5 percent. Pam O’Connor had the lowest vote total of a successful candidate that year with 6,696 votes, or about 11.3 percent.
She has previously worked for Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights but has resigned from her position with the organization to run for office again.
“My priorities are controlling growth and protecting residential neighborhoods, fighting for seniors, working families and individuals who need affordable housing and strong rent control protections, increasing open space and enhancing our city’s natural, sustainable environment,” Kennedy said. “I understand that we have some tough challenges working to create affordable housing. And I know that we will need very creative ways to increase our open space given our density but we have thoughtful residents and a dynamic community spirit which can create the possibilities for these goals.”
Current councilmembers Gleam Davis, Tony Vazquez and Ted Winterer have all filed paperwork to run again. Terry O’Day is the only incumbent yet to file and has not announced his intent. Challenger and Santa Monica firefighter Dominick Bei has filed papers to run.
Incumbent Ralph Mechur has filed papers for school board as has challenger Jon Kean. SMC Board of Trustee incumbents Susan Aminoff and Margaret Quinones-Perez have also filed paperwork.
According to the City Clerk’s office, candidates must be United States citizens, be at least 18 years old on election day and must be registered to vote in the jurisdiction of the desired office. Candidates cannot be in prison or on parole for a felony.
Candidates who plan to spend at least $1,000 or raise at least $2,000 must form a committee and make regular filings with the City.
At this point in the process, candidates who are actively fundraising are filing their required paperwork but no one is an official candidate until he or she has gathered 100 signatures from registered voters and completed the candidate nomination packet. Packets will be available starting July 18 and signatures must be delivered to the clerk’s office by Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. The nomination period could be extended to Aug. 17 if at least one incumbent fails to qualify by Aug. 12.
The City Clerk’s Office will hold candidate workshops on the first day of the filing period to go over the process and the required forms in detail. There is a $25 fee to file nomination papers.