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Braun Only Applicant for Open Rent Board Seat

By Lookout Staff

August 28, 2009 -- Chris Braun is poised to take the Santa Monica Rent Control Board seat he fell 62 votes short of winning last November after no other applicant met the Wednesday filing deadline.

Unless the board extends the application period, which is unlikely, Braun will replace Joel C. Koury, who resigned from the board after being easily re-elected to a second four-year term last November. ("Santa Monica Rent Board Chair Resigns," July 24, 2009)

The board declared the vacancy at its August 6 meeting and accepted letters of interest or applications from interested persons for one month. Braun was the only applicant.

Braun is expected to be appointed at the next Rent Board meeting September 3. If appointed, he would serve until the November 2010 municipal election.

Braun became the first candidate in the board's 30-year history to fail to win a seat on the five-member board after winning the endorsement of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR), the city's powerful tenants group.

After all the votes at he polls were counted, Braun led Robert Kronovet, a Republican landlord and real estate broker, by more then 500 votes -- 12,119 votes to 11,543.

But Braun saw his lead evaporate as absentee ballots were counted. One month after the November 4 race, officials at the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office declared Braun the winner.

Informed by county officials that the vote count was accurate, the SMRR steering committee voted not to challenge the results.

Koury, who was backed by SMRR, finished first in a landslide with 22,601 votes in the race for two open seats.




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