CITY HALL — In a move that could have big implications for November’s City Council election, five-term incumbent Bob Holbrook has announced he may run for a two-year seat on the council instead of a full four-year term as previously expected.
Holbrook said he pulled papers to run for one of two available two-year seats on Monday and will make his decision about which race to join sometime after the Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights convention on Sunday.
Though he’s not a SMRR member, Holbrook said his decision about which seat to seek will hinge on the political party’s endorsement results.
If SMRR, which has a strong hand in city politics, endorses a candidate for each of the five available seats (three four-year terms and two two-year terms), he said he would run for a two-year seat on the council, a scenario that would likely pit him against City Council colleagues Terry O’Day and Gleam Davis, who were appointed to the council to fill vacancies and have announced they will seek to extend their terms by two years in November.
Having received more votes than both Davis and O’Day in a successful council bid in 2006, Holbrook said he’s confident he could win against them again. In 2006, Holbrook came in third in a race for three council seats with 13,041 votes. O’Day was fourth with 11,756 and Davis, who was endorsed by SMRR, was fifth with 9,471.
Neither Davis nor O’Day, though, was on the council in 2006. Davis was appointed after the death of Mayor Herb Katz in 2009, and O’Day was appointed after the death of Mayor Ken Genser in January.
“I’m absolutely positive I would win a seat in that race,” Holbrook said, referring to the contest for a two-year term.
Neither O’Day nor Davis could be immediately reached on Tuesday.
Running in the two-year race would also mean Holbrook would be up for re-election in 2012, along with three other incumbents including Mayor Bobby Shriver.
“I’d have a blast running with [Shriver] in two years,” Holbrook said.
If he remains in the four-year race, Holbrook would likely face incumbents Pam O’Connor and Kevin McKeown, as well as challenger Ted Winterer, who received 12,047 votes in the 2008 election, coming in fifth in a contest for four seats despite failing to win a SMRR endorsement.
Besides Holbrook, 12 candidates have pulled papers to run in the four-year race, compared with eight candidates in the two-year race.
While he said he’s still considering his options, Holbrook said if SMRR endorses fewer than three candidates in the four-year race, he’d opt to run for a full term.
“I’ve just got to do what’s best for me given the hand that SMRR deals on Sunday,” he said. “I’ll have to do what’s best for Bob Holbrook. That’s it.”
The deadline for council candidates to submit election forms, including a petition with 100 signatures of registered Santa Monica voters, for one of the two City Council races is 5 p.m. on Aug. 6.