27 candidates enter race for L.A. mayor

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — A tentative field of 27 candidates have filed paperwork to run for mayor of Los Angeles in the June 7 election and races for eight of the City Council’s 15 districts are starting to take shape.

Feb. 12 was the deadline for candidates to file their declaration of intention to run for mayor and other citywide offices including city attorney and controller.

But not all candidates who filed will automatically end up on the ballot. During the next 25 days, candidates must gather signatures to officially get their names on the ballot. A minimum of 500 valid signatures from voters are required, but candidates who receive at least 1,000 signatures will avoid a $300 filing fee.

In mid-March, the nominating petitions’ signatures will be reviewed and the official candidate lists will be finalized.

The most prominent candidates running for mayor are Rep. U.S. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, City Councilmen Joe Buscaino and Kevin de León, City Attorney Mike Feuer and real estate developer Rick Caruso.

Other candidates filing were real estate agent and former MTA board member Mel Wilson, tech entrepreneur Ramit Varma, businessman Craig Greiwe, social justice advocate and Echo Park Neighborhood Council member Alex Gruenenfelder Smith, Chuck Cho, who did not list an occupation; and self-described business owner John “Jsamuel” Jackson.

Also declaring their intent were self-described housing advocate G. Juan Johnson, self-described entrepreneur Douglas Paul Nichols, William “Rodriguez” Morrison, who was a Republican candidate in 2017 for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 34th District; lawyer Andrew Kim, Jesse N. Forte, who identified himself in paperwork as an “astronaut” but whose LinkedIn account indicates that he seasonally participates in simulation tests for a space architecture and engineering firm; and construction professional Sean Isaac Enright.

Also on the list were SilentRight CEO Barry “Boenvilla” Boen, Army veteran and self-described education advocate Austin Dragon, self-described businesswoman Juanita Lopez, self-described community activist Vincent “King Spider-D” Willis, business administrative consultant Jesseca Harvey, homeless advocate Louis De Barraicua, whose website says he teaches filmmaking; chiropractor Jemiss Nazar, Alycia Tashaunna Lowery, who works in the children’s social work field; Chris Gilmore, who identified himself as a business owner; and community activist Gina Viola.

Vying for city attorney are Deputy City Attorney Richard Kim; California Democratic Party Treasurer Teddy Kapur; civil rights attorney Faisal M. Gill, who previously served as policy director for the Department of Homeland Security; former Republican radio host and former president of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works Kevin James; federal prosecutor Marina Torres; financial law attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto; and Deputy City Attorney Sherri Onica Valle Cole.

Controller candidates are City Councilman Paul Koretz, Reid Lidow, a former executive officer to Mayor Eric Garcetti; certified public accountant and housing justice advocate Kenneth Mejia, self-described public school teacher J. Carolan O’Gabhann, City Attorney’s Office spokesman Rob Wilcox, self-described chief financial officer David Vahedi; and CFO and assistant director of the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Street Services Stephanie Clements.

Eight City Council seats also have elections this year — more than half of the 15-member council.

Councilman Gil Cedillo is seeking his third term to represent Council District 1 — which includes Glassell Park, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Westlake, Chinatown and Pico Union. Candidates seeking to oust him are public policy advocate Eunisses Hernandez, community organizer Ronald Duarte, businessman and former LAUSD employee Jesse Rosas and Westlake North Neighborhood Council member Elaine Alaniz, who identified herself as a filmmaker and crisis responder.

Council District 5 lacks an incumbent this year, because Koretz is termed-out and running for controller. Candidates running to succeed Koretz for the district — which includes Bel Air, Brentwood, Westwood, Pico-Robertson, Palms and parts of the Fairfax District — are Katy Young Yaroslavsky, former senior environment and arts policy deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and a daughter-in-law of former Supervisor and Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who represented the district from 1975-94; Palms Neighborhood Council Business Representative Josh Nadel; former chair of the Mid City West Neighborhood Council Scott Epstein; UCLA School of Law lecturer Jimmy Biblarz; publicist and business consultant Dory Frank, real estate agent Kristina Irwin, self-described businessman Danny Bahr, attorney and small business owner Sam Yebri and community organizer Molly Basler.

Council District 11 — which includes Venice, Pacific Palisades, Mar Vista and other Westside neighborhoods — has no incumbent, with Mike Bonin opting not to seek a third term. Thirteen candidates are running to succeed him: photographer Gary Copeland, civil rights attorney Erin Darling, attorney and former Board of Public Works President Greg Good, former Venice Neighborhood Council member and land use attorney Mike Newhouse, self-identified medical delivery driver Mat Smith, former adviser to a Board of Education member Allison Holdorff Polhill, current Venice Neighborhood Council President Jim Murez, self-identified property manager Cristian Orlando Letelier, security guard Vincent Sulaitis, community organizer Ronnie McCowan, attorney Traci Park, self-described international trade adviser Christopher Baker and teacher Midsanon “Soni” Lloyd.

Councilman Curren Price is seeking a third term to represent District 9 in South Los Angeles. His potential opponents were community advocate Adriana Cabrera, education advocate Dulce Vasquez, self-identified health care worker Miguel Isaias Lemus and former Councilman Nick Pacheco, who represented District 14th in Northeast Los Angeles from 1999-2003.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell is running for a third term to represent District 13, including the neighborhoods of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village. People seeking to take O’Farrell’s seat are community organizer Al Corado; Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Stephen Johnson; labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez; self-identified defense sales representative Carlos Flowers; Kate Pynoos, former homelessness policy adviser to Councilman Mike Bonin; self-identified adjudicator Chad Michael Manuel; and housing rights advocate and Rampart Village Neighborhood Council President Rachael Rose Luckey.

Council District 15, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington and Watts, had 10 candidates running to replace Buscaino — who is running for mayor. The field consists of entrepreneur and former Harbor City Neighborhood Council President Danielle Sandoval; businessman and former Port of Los Angeles marketing manager Anthony Santich; Tim McOsker, businessman and former chief of staff and deputy city attorney under former Mayor James Hahn; self-described investment banker LaMar Lyons; educator and community organizer Bryant Odega; self-described special educator and realtor Andrew Bak-Boychuk; self-described youth/senior advocate Mark Anthony Contreras; community activist Pati Lawrence; marketing consultant Rick Thomas.; and artist/environmental activist Robert Miller.

Three seats on the Board of Education also are up for election.

Eight candidates are running for Board District 2 in central and eastern Los Angeles where current board member Monica Garcia is termed out of office. Candidates who have entered the race are self-described small business owner J. Benjamin Johnson; education advocate and parent Maria Brenes; self-identified accountant and community activist Erica Vilardi-Espinosa, self-identified public school teacher Miguel Angel Segura; education policy adviser Rocio Rivas; self-described educator, activist and attorney Miho Murau, counselor and mom Raquel Zamora and mom Erika Viviana Ochoa.

Board District 4 member Nick Melvoin is running for reelection to represent the West Los Angeles and West San Fernando Valley. His potential opponents are Gentille Barkhordarian, who says she’s an engineer and mother, Negar Nikgohar, a self-described parent and educator, and Tracey Schroeder, a teacher.




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