The race for Santa Monica City Council is headed for a major upset with an unprecedented number of incumbents losing their seats.
Friday’s updated totals show Phil Brock, Gleam Davis, Christine Parra and Oscar De La Torre in the top spots out of the 21 candidates who entered the race this year. The race between incumbent Terry O’Day and de la Torre was initially close but de la Torre has grown his lead to 578 votes as of Friday.
Brock has managed to increase his lead while incumbents Ted Winterer and Ana Maria Jara Members have failed to advance their rank.
De la Torre said earlier this week that residents have made it clear they are ready for real change in the city. He echoed the calls for change Friday, when he shared how honored he is to be entrusted with the responsibility to carry out an ambitious agenda for a better Santa Monica.
“I couldn’t stand on the sideline seeing the city that raised me being destroyed,” de la Torre said. “This new city council is being formed with the power of a clear resident mandate to strengthen public safety and our economic activity.”
If the standings hold through the final count, de la Torre would have to step down from his position on school board. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will appoint a new School Board member to fill the seat vacated by de la Torre within 60 days of his letter of resignation. This process is directed by Education Code and will include announcing the opening, accepting applications, interviewing, and making the appointment during a board meeting. The District will release details about the timing and application process in the coming days.
De la Torre, who campaigned alongside Parra and Brock as the “Change Slate,” said he and his peers will also look to effectively address homelessness, promote responsible development, and protect green and public spaces. “Most importantly,” he said, “we want to prioritize the needs of our residents over special interest to protect renters and our city’s diversity.”
Phil Brock added he is also humbled by the confidence of residents, “and honored to be able to work on their behalf.”
“Together with all of you I look forward to restoring the safety and soul of our city. Most importantly, residents now have a seat at the table in City Hall,” Brock said. “I am overjoyed that Christine Parra and Oscar de la Torre will be working alongside me to support all Santa Monicans.”