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Brock ‘Presumes’ He Will Be a Write-in Option for Santa Monica Council
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

October 25, 2016 -- It’s not official, but it might be close to official that Phil Brock will be just the fourth Santa Monica City Council write-in candidate in the past four decades.

Brock told The Lookout late Monday that he was "under no illusion that this would lead to an improbable victory," but that he would "have a platform to speak out on issues" for the remaining two weeks of the election season.

He pulled papers last week, and said he believes others have collected more than the required 100 signatures to qualify as a write-in candidate. The deadline to qualify is today.

"I presume that people who want to cast a write-in ballot for me will be able to have their vote count," Brock told The Lookout Monday evening.

Brock said he had not been involved in the signature collection. He said he pulled papers last week because many people had told him they planned to write his name on the ballot. Only votes for certified write-in candidates count.

"Many people told me they were going to vote for me regardless," Brock said. "If they are going to do that [if he is not a write-in candidate], it's just thrown away. I'm giving them the opportunity to cast the vote for me if that's what they want to do."

A slow-growth activist, Brock is an experienced candidate. With his name on the ballot, he placed fourth in the race for three seats in 2014. He flirted with the idea of running for school board this year, but later decided against it.

Brock has said he would run for council in 2018.

The ballot features ten council candidates -- incumbents and six challengers. Brock said he did not know if "candidate" would be the right word to describe him.

"I am by no means delusional that I could win," Brock said. "I classify differently. I'm figuring out in my mind how to classify myself."

He continued, "Am i going to go out and give lawn signs to supporters? I can't anticipate doing that. I'll be active on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor. And neighborhood people who want to vote for me will be able to."

Brock said he would also be campaigning for people to vote for the slow-growth Measure LV. He said that he had tried to stay out of that debate, but was troubled by how much money had poured into the campaign.

LV opponents have raised more than $1 million as of last week, while the supporters have collected under $50,000.

He posted about this on his campaign Facebook page.

"I tried to stay out of this election cycle, however when I see the pervasive influence of developer-funded campaigns to defeat a resident-sponsored measure on the ballot, I realize that developers, in collusion with our business community and outside moneyed interests, want to buy our city. I can't stand by and let that happen."

Of the three previous modern council write-in candidates, only one was considered a serious threat to win.

Dolores Press was an incumbent in 1984 and forced to go the write-in route because she had made an error in the signature collection to get on the ballot (“Write-In Candidacy Path Rarely Chosen in Santa Monica,” October 21, 2016).

But even with Press' strong name recognition and a well-funded campaign by Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights backing her, she could only manage a seventh-place finish in a race for four seats.


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