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Council Incumbents Concede, List Accomplishments

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

November 13, 2020 -- With few ballots left to count and facing an insurmountable lead, three City Council incumbents have officially conceded in the race for four full-term seats.

Terry O'Day, Ted Winterer and Ana Jara issued statements after it became clear the race would be won by three challengers -- Phil Brock, Christine Parra and Oscar de la Torre -- and incumbent Gleam Davis.

With another 502 ballots counted Tuesday, Brock leads with 19,201 votes, followed by Davis with 18,056, Parra with 17,913, de la Torre with 17,464, O'Day with 16,284, Winterer with 15,928 votes and Jara with 15,117.

O'Day, who trailed the fourth-place finisher by more than 1,000 votes, posted a statement on his campaign website Thursday, becoming the first incumbent to concede.

"Ballots are still being counted, but it appears our campaign fell narrowly short," wrote O'Day, who was first appointed to the Council in 2010 to fill a vacancy left by the death of Ken Genser.

"Each elected candidate will need and deserve our support as the city navigates this winter's Covid peak, the economic fallout from Covid, the state housing crisis and Santa Monica's appropriate role, the selection of a new police chief and its implications, and more," he wrote.

Winterer, who finished sixth after being elected to the Council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016, issued his statement Monday.

"I am grateful the voters of Santa Monica granted me the honor
and privilege of serving our community for eight years. And I'm proud of our many accomplishments during my tenure," Winterer wrote.

"I wish the newly-elected Councilmembers the best with the
challenges ahead," he said.

O'Day and Winterer listed the Council's accomplishments during their tenures.

They included bringing the Expo train line to the City and negotiating an agreement with the FAA to close Santa Monica Airport by 2028, two decisions that will have longlasting impacts on the city.

During their tenure, the Council also built three new parks, a library branch in the Pico Neighborhood and a City Hall annex that is considered the nation's greenest government building.

It also paved the way for more affordable housing Downtown, made the city's network of bike lanes a model for the region and initiated ambitious programs to reduce the City's carbon footprint and help it become water self-sufficient.

In addition, the incumbents noted they had launched a program to provide rental assistance to poor seniors, increased funding for public schools and boosted the local minimum wage.

Jara issued a statement Tuesday listing the Council's accomplishments since she was appointed to serve the remainder of former Council member Tony Vazquez's term in January 2019.

They included overseeing the City's response to the Covid-19 pandemic and approving plans and projects that will add much-needed revenue after "vital programs and employees were slashed."

Jara, the first Latino from the Pico Neighborhood to serve on the Council, also pushed to promote local hiring for minorities and to pass an ordinance protecting hotel employees.

"Our City, I believe, is currently on the right path for equity, accountability, safety, engagement as we move further into the 21st Century," Jara said in her statement.

"I wish my new councilmembers the patience to listen to all members of the community and stay on this new path we have forged over the last two years."

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