Culver City voters elect new council members

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CULVER CITY — On an Election Day when the race for president remains undecided, voters in Culver City apparently elected three new members of the City Council.

With an undetermined number of ballots still to be counted, Goran Eriksson, the only incumbent on the ballot, was in fourth place in a nine-candidate field with 6,908 votes

Ahead of him were three challengers, Yasmine McMorrin with 8,527 votes, Albert Vera with 8,409 and Freddy Puza with 7,101. Meghan Sahli-Wells was termed out of office and Thomas Small chose not to seek reelection.

Culver City voters also defeated a measure that would have overturned a rent control measure approved by the City Council in September. More than 55% of voters opposed Measure B, which also would have required any future rent control laws to go before voters.

Measure B was initiated by a group called Protect Culver City, a political action committee primarily composed of residential landlords and business owners who penned the legislation in opposition to the City Council deciding to phase in rent control last year.

The group argued that rent control was pushed through with little public input and that Measure B would allow voters to make decisions on critical issues like this.

“If the City Council wants to raise your taxes, they have to put it up for a vote [in most cases]. We want rent control treated in that same way,” Protect Culver City President Ron Bassilian said.

Councilwoman Sahli-Wells, who led the opposition to Measure B said the measure actually puts up barriers to rent control by making voters go through the process of getting a rent control measure on the ballot and then persuading people to vote for it.

Culver City voters also approved Measure RE, a real property transfer tax.

Measure RE would increase real property transfer taxes for properties valued at $1.5 million or more and set progressive transfer tax rates based on valuation thresholds exceeding $1.5 million.

It was favored by 53% of the voters.

In other races of local interest, incumbent U.S. Reps. Ted Lieu and Karen Bass easily won reelection in the 33rd and 37th Congressional Districts. Lieu received 69% of the vote to defeat James Bradley in the 33rd District and Bass received 86.6% of the vote in the 37th District.

in the March primary compared to Bradley’s 19.05%. The district incudes West L.A., part of the South Bay and the Fairfax District.

In Assembly races, Democratic incumbent Richard Bloom defeated Will Hess in the 50th Assembly District and Democratic incumbent Sydney Kamlager defeated Democrat Tracy Jones, in the 54th Assembly District.

In the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s race, former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón was leading two-term incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Gascón had 53.8% of the vote and led Lacey by more than 200,000 votes.

Contributing writer Cynthia Gibson contributed to this story.

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