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The 2018 election race is officially on and School Board incumbent Craig Foster was first out of the gate this week.

Foster was the first person to attend a meeting with the City Clerk’s office that is a requirement before potential candidates can receive paperwork to run for office. As the first attendee at the meeting, Foster was the first to officially pull papers. He, and the other attendees, now have until August 10 to gather 100 signatures from voters in the jurisdiction of their race. If an incumbent fails to file for re-election, the nomination period for that race will be extended to August 15.

School Board incumbents Laurie Lieberman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein also pulled papers on Monday. Three individuals pulled papers for City Council: Sue Himmelrich (incumbent), Kevin McKeown (incumbent), Mike Farid, Mary Marlow, Greg Morena, Linda Armstrong, Scott Bellomo, Mary Sampson and Ashley Powell. Powell also pulled papers for the College Board race alongside incumbents Nancy Greenstein, Barry Snell and Louise Jaffe.

Elaine Golden-Gealer, Naomi Sultan, Joseph Bonoventura and Lori Brown received applications for the Rent Control Board.

Application paperwork is available throughout the nomination period from the City Clerk’s office. Potential candidates can pick up papers any time before the deadline and receiving the application doesn’t guarantee individuals will actually file for office.

This year voters will pick three individuals for City Council, four on School Board, three on the Rent Control Board and four for the Santa Monica College Board. In addition, Voters will see local ballot measures to establish term limits and to require a supermajority to approve some developments.

To run for local office, candidates must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 18 by election day and a registered voter within the jurisdiction of their chosen race. A candidate may not be in prison or on parole for a felony.

City Council and Rent Control Board races are limited to residents of Santa Monica. The School Board and College Board districts extend outside city limits to include residents of neighboring communities.

Foster is currently the only school board member from Malibu and said he views an early start as part of his commitment to the job.

“I always think it’s important to do my job to the best of my ability,” he said.

He said gathering a hundred signatures isn’t too difficult and his strategy is to just ask the people he encounters day-to-day.

“The good news about being an incumbent is I see lots and lots and lots of residents on a weekly basis,” he said. “A hundred is not a whole lot of people to interact with at one time.”

For more information on the 2018 election season, visit


2018 Election Dates

August 10 Last day candidates can withdraw nomination papers.

August 10 Last day to file nomination papers. Deadline is 5 p.m.

August 13 Last day to withdraw candidate statements. Deadline is 5 p.m.

August 15 Extended last day to file nomination papers if incumbent does not file. Deadline is 5:30 p.m.

August 16 Secretary of State to hold public drawing to determine order of names on ballot.

August 22 Fair Political Practices Commissions (FPPC) Candidate/Treasurer Workshop – 6 – 8 p.m., Council Chambers

September 10 – October 23 Filing period for write-in candidates.

October 8 – 30 Voters may request vote by mail ballots.

October 22 Last day to register to vote.

November 6 Election Day (7 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...