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Only 4 Candidates Pull Papers Over Past 2 Weeks

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By Jorge Casuso

August 5, 2022 -- After a quick start to election season, only four prospective candidates have pulled nominating papers over the past two weeks for four local races, while one has withdrawn.

That brings the total number of potential candidates vying for seats on the Santa Monica City Council, School Board, College Board and Rent Control Board to 37, according to the City Clerk's office.

During the first week of election season -- which kicked off July 18 -- a total of 34 candidates pulled nominating papers, which must be signed by 100 valid registered voters to make the November 8 ballot.

As of Friday, five candidates had qualified -- Troy Harris and Samantha Mota for City Council, and incumbents Laurie Lieberman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein for School Board, along with Alicia Mignano.

The four candidates who pulled papers over the past two weeks are Tracy Jean Goetsch for City Council; Carl Hansen and Daniel S. Ivanov for Rent Board and Stacy Rouse for School Board.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Wilson, who pulled papers for City Council and College Board, withdrew from the College Board race.

Few major political players have jumped into the wide open race for three open seats on the City Council after two incumbents -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Council member Kristin McCowan announced they would nor seek reelection.

Councilmember Lana Negrete pulled papers the first week, as did Rent Board member Coroline Torosis, Planning Commissioner Ellis Raskin, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) Board Chair Albin Gielicz and Armen Melkonians, the founder of Residocracy, an online grassroots group.

In addition to Lieberman and Tahvildaran-Jesswein, School Board incumbents Keith Coleman and Craig Foster pulled nominating papers for four open seats during the first week.

While in the race for three open seats on the Rent Board, Erika Lesley, who was appointed to the Board last month, is the only incumbent running. Lesley replaced Nicole Phillis, who resigned in May.

A second incumbent will likely be on the ballot after the Rent Board appoints a replacement for Naomi Sultan, who was expected to run for re-election, before announcing her resignation last month.

Chair Steve Duron, whose term expires at the end of the year, has served the maximum two four-year terms and cannot seek reelection.

Hansen, the former director of government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce and Ivanov, a Los Angeles attorney, joined Kurt Gonska on the short list of Rent Board hopefuls who have pulled nominating papers.

In the race for four College Board seats, incumbents Nancy Greenstein, Sion Roy and Barry Snell have pulled nominating papers. Incumbent Louise Jaffe had not pulled papers as of Friday.

That leaves only Thomas Peters among the College Board hopefuls after Nathaniel Wilson withdrew.

Candidates have until August 12 at 5 p.m. to file or withdraw their nominating papers. The deadline is extended to August 17 at 5:30 p.m. if an incumbent does not file, which is the case so far in the races for Rent Board and City Council.

On August 18, the Secretary of State will hold a public drawing to determine the order of the names on the ballot.

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