Inglewood councilman heads to March runoff election

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By Emilie St. John

Contributing writer

INGLEWOOD — City Councilman George Dotson is headed for a runoff election in the District 1 City Council race after finishing in first place with 31% of the vote Nov. 8.

The second-place finisher, Gloria Gray, received 23% percent of the vote.

Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson announced during the Nov. 15 City Council meeting that the runoff election would be held March 7.

Dotson was first elected to the City Council in June 2013 after capturing 58% of votes cast to unseat the late Mike Stevens. Prior to that, Dotson served as on the city’s Planning Commission for more than 20 years.

After running unsuccessfully for the District 1 seat on several occasions, he finally won after Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts injected tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign via loans Dotson has yet to repay.

Gloria Gray

Gray is no stranger to Inglewood voters. She has previously served on the city’s school board and is currently serving on the board of the West Basin Municipal Water District. In that capacity, she’s a member of the board of the Metropolitan Water District and is serving in her final months as chairwoman of that agency.

Her tenure at MWD has been rocky.

Former Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez threatened to sever ties with the agency over allegations that women working for the organization faced systemic sexual harassment.

Several women in the apprentice program said district officials ignored or dismissed their sexual harassment complaints, didn’t investigate them thoroughly and pressured them to continue working around men they accused or seek other positions with lower pay.

Gray was also scrutinized for supporting the hiring of a general manager at West Basin whose former employer had to pay out a $250,000 claim to settle a sexual harassment claim lodged against him.

In other local election results, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts continued to lead his challengers receiving 9,049 votes, or 55%, with Fredrisha “Sha” Dixon in second with 2,607 votes or 16%.

District 2 Councilman Alex Padilla received 2,752 votes or 68% and his challenger Bobby Brown received 1,307 votes or 32%.

Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at emiliesaintjohn@gmail.com.

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