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O'Connor Submits Nominating Papers for Santa Monica Council
By Jorge Casuso
August 9, 2018 -- Councilmember Pam O'Connor submitted her nominating petitions Thursday afternoon, becoming the final incumbent to do so in the race for three open seats.
O'Connor said she submitted "a bit over 150" signatures to the City Clerk late Thursday afternoon.
Incumbents Kevin McKeown and Sue Himmelrich have already qualified for the ballot, having gathered the necessary 100 signatures from registered Santa Monica voters.
Challenger Greg Morena, a local restaurateur who sits on the City's Audit Subcommittee, also has qualified for the November 6 ballot.
The three candidates who have qualified received the endorsement of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMRR), the City's most powerful political organization.
O'Connor -- who did not seek the group's endorsement -- is expected to receive the backing of major developers who have contributed to her past campaigns.
Some political observers speculated that O'Connor might reconsider her bid for a record seventh four-year term after Morena won SMRR's backing.
"Why would that bother me," O'Connor told the Lookout when asked if she had considered backing out of the race. "Those people must think that every SMRR candidate gets elected."
In 2014, Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy failed to win with SMRR's backing, but by and large the group's support is a major advantage.
Five of the seven current Council members were elected with SMRR's backing and every Council member, including O'Connor, has received the group's backing at some point.
O'Connor won her re-election bid in 2012 without SMRR's endorsement.
Ashley Powell, who had pulled papers for both City Council and College Board, submitted her nominating petitions for Council Thursday.
That leaves only four candidates who have qualified in the race for four College Board seats -- incumbents Barry Snell, Dr. Nancy Greenstein and Dr. Louise Jaffe, and challenger Sion Roy.
Because Dr. Andrew Walzer is not running for reelection, potential candidates have until Wednesday to pull nominating papers.
Patrick Acosta II pulled papers for the College Board race but has not yet been qualified.
If no other candidate qualifies, there will be no election for College Board in November.
In 2016, the three incumbents faced only one challenger, Roy.
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