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Santa Monica Democratic Club Makes Local Endorsements
By Jorge Casuso
September 28, 2018 -- The Santa Monica Democratic Club completed its endorsements Thursday, which include backing two incumbents and a challenger in the race for three City Council seats.
The group backed Councilmembers Sue Himmelrich and Keven McKeown and challenger Greg Morena in the November 6 race.
Four years ago, the club only backed two candidates -- Kevin McKeown and Sue Himmelrich -- who both won. The third winner, Pam O’Connor, was not endorsed (“Santa Monica Democrats Back McKeown and Himmelrich for Council Race,” September 4, 2014).
This year's Council endorsements mirror those made by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR), the City's powerful tenants group, and the growth group Santa Monica Forward, which is largely funded by developers.
The group's endorsement carries weight in the predominantly Democrat city but doesn't come with a large campaign warchest. In 2016, the club spent $16,627 to back its candidate slates.
This year, the group backed three incumbents in the race for four School Board seats -- Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Oscar de la Torre and Laurie Lieberman.
De la Torre had been passed up last week by the Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), which is backing incumbent Craig Foster and the other two incumbents ("Education Group Endorses Four Council Candidates for Three Seats," September 19, 2018).
"I am extremely honored to have received the endorsement of the Democratic Party in my race for re-election to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Board," said de la Torre.
"This endorsement is very humbling because it means that our Party leaders believe that I am a proven leader who personifies the values and principles of the Democratic Party."
In the race for four College Board seats, the local Democratic Club voted to endorse incumbents Nancy Greenstein, Louise Jaffe, Barry Snell and challenger Sion Roy, mirroring CEPS' endorsements.
The group also endorsed incumbents Nicole Phillis and Steve Duron, as well as Naomi Sultan for three seats on the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.
In addition, the group voted to back all five measures on the local ballot.
One closely watched measure is TL, which would amend the City Charter to limit each of the council’s seven members to three terms ("Santa Monica Voters to Decide Term Limits for Council in November," July 5, 2018).
Another is Measure SMS, a record $485 million school bond to fund facilities in Santa Monica ("Record Bond Measure for Santa Monica Schools Draws No Opposing Ballot Arguments," September 12, 2018).
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