Santa Monica Lookout
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Los Angeles County Democratic Party Backs Candidates in Santa Monica Races


Frank Gruber for Santa Monica City Council

Ted Winterer for City Council 2012

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Re-elect Robert Kronovet for Rent Control Board

Pico Business Improvement District
7th Annual Pico Festival
Sunday, October 28th

By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

October 11, 2012 -- The L.A. County Democratic Party (LACDP) voted to endorse only one incumbent and three challengers for Santa Monica's City Council race Tuesday.

Members of LACDP who attended Tuesday's endorsement meeting voted to endorse incumbent Gleam Davis as well as challengers Tony Vazquez, Ted Winterer and Richard McKinnon in their bids to fill four seats on the Council in the November 6 election.

“Being endorsed by the democratic party can mean a great deal,” said LACDP Chairman Eric Bauman and can mean even more if a candidate is backed by both the County Democratic party committee and the local Democratic clubs.

Winterer, currently a planning commissioner and an advocate of “responsible” growth, was the only one of the four Council candidates to also get Santa Monica Democratic Club's endorsement in September.

Even though all Democratic clubs in the county are charted by the LACDP, “we have a relatively permissive policy on endorsements,” Bauman said. The policy allows the local Democratic clubs to make endorsements independent of LACDP.

Political observers agreed that because the Santa Monica Democratic Club only made one endorsement in the Council race, LACDP's endorsements will carry more weight than they usually do in the largely Democratic city.

“As a life-long Democrat, I'm very honored and pleased to have the party's endorsement,” said Davis.

“I'm pleased to have been unanimously recommended by the 50 Assembly District interview committee and endorsed by acclamation by the the delegates at last night's County Democratic Party meeting,” said Winterer.

The committee Winterer referred to is a six-person delegation who interviewed the candidates and then made recommendations to the nearly 200 members present Tuesday. Afterward, the membership voted whether to accept the committee's recommendation.

The committee recommended three candidates -- Winterer, Davis and Vazquez -- but could not reach a consensus on whether to endorse a candidate for the fourth seat.

However, after giving a speech to the LACDP membership, McKinnon -- a planning commissioner -- managed to get over 60% of the group's vote, officially making it on the slate over John C. Smith, who also attended Tuesday's meeting.

“The last election, I wasn't even allowed to vote because I wasn't a citizen,” said McKinnon, who is from Papua New Guinea. “This election, at the top of the (Democratic) ticket will be the president... Right down at the bottom, in as local a race as can be, will be me.”

Bauman said that the candidates will benefit from LACDP's mailers and phone banking as well as electronic promotion.

The group also weighed in on the School Board race, endorsing all three incumbents: Ben Allen, Jose Escarce and Maria Leon-Vazquez.

For Santa Monica's Rent Control Board, the group backed incumbent Ilse Rosenstein and challenger Christopher Walton who is running to unseat Robert Kronovet, the only Republican on the Board.

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