Five-time incumbent Kevin McKeown became the first official candidate for City Council Wednesday when he turned in paperwork and signatures to qualify for the November ballot. McKeown’s recently updated campaign website lists preserving “Santa Monica’s charm and character” as a key issue for the 2018 race.

“I’m asking Santa Monicans to vote for me again based on my solid twenty-year record of listening to residents, and making progress on what most concerns us – as well as fulfilling our hopes for this very special city we’re privileged to live in,” McKeown said in an email to the Daily Press.

As McKeown hits the ground running, three more residents pulled papers to run for Council, including Residocracy member Kate Bransfield, Green party member Jon Mann and political newcomer Abby Mahler. Potential candidates now until August 10 to submit paperwork to qualify for the ballot.

“Should I be elected to Council, first and foremost I would simply like to lend my voice,” Mahler said. “I am a young, queer, chronically ill human, and just having my voice in the room does change the conversation. We see the effects of diversity like this in countless sectors.”

The complete field of potential candidates has reached fifteen, including all three incumbents: McKeown, Sue Himmelrich and Pam O’Connor.

Jon Mann also pulled papers to run for Rent Control Board, along with incumbents Nicole Phillis and Steve Duron.

“I’m looking forward to a tough, fair, honest campaign season where we get to talk about the real issues facing renters and rental housing in Santa Monica, like corporate rental abuses, tenant harassment, Ellis activity and new development of rent control housing,” Phillis said. “Rent Control is a community commitment to the principle that tenants deserve the right to age in place just as property owners do.”

Rent Control critic Elaine Golden-Gealer, Lori Brown, Naomi Sultan and Joseph Bonaventura have also pulled papers to run for one of three available seats on the RCB.

On Monday, Patrick Acosta II pulled papers to run for four open seats on the College Board, joining a field of six candidates that include incumbents Nancy Greenstein, Barry Snell and Louise Jaffe.

 There are five potential candidates for four open seats on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Board, including incumbents Oscar de la Torre, Laurie Lieberman, Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein and Craig Foster. Ann Thanawalla is the fifth potential candidates.

Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press