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13 Candidates File for Council Race

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By Jorge Casuso

August 17, 2022 -- Four City Council hopefuls filed nominating papers on Wednesday, the final filing date, while six others did not file, according to a candidate list posted by the City Clerk.

The four who filed by the 5:30 p.m. deadline included Armen Melkonians, the founder of the once-powerful grassroots online group Residocracy, who is expected to run as a "Change" candidate in the November 8 race for three Council seats.

Also filing on the final day was Jon Mann, who is making a record 16th run for Council, as well as Arthur Jeon and Austin Humble.

The four prospective candidates, along with Jesse Zwick, who filed last Friday, are expected to learn from the County Registrar's Office next week if they made the ballot.

Already in the race are incumbent Lana Negrete and seven challengers, including Rent Board member Coroline Torosis, Planning Commissioner Ellis Raskin and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) Board Chair Albin Gielicz.

Other challengers who have made the ballot are Whitney Bain, Troy Harris and Samantha Mota.

Melkonians, the runner-up in the 2016 race for four Council seats, was the last candidate to file on Wednesday.

The Council race appears wide open after two incumbents -- Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Councilmember Kristin McCowan -- announced they would not run for re-election.

In the race for four seats on the School Board, incumbent Craig Foster, who announced he would not run for a third term, did not file nominating papers.

Neither did Kevin Shenkman, an education activist and lawyer who represents the plaintiffs in the Voting Rights lawsuit against the City.

The three incumbents in the race -- Keith Coleman, Laurie Lieberman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein -- have qualified for the ballot.

So have four challengers -- Angela DiGaetano, Alicia Mignano, Stacy Rouse (the only Malibu resident in the race) and Miles Warner.

Challenger Esther Hickman, who filed her nominating petitions on Friday, is awaiting the County Registrar's decision.

In the race for four seats on the College Board, the three incumbents running for re-election -- Nancy Greenstein, Sion Roy and Barry Snell -- have made the ballot. The other incumbent, Louise Jaffe, did not pull nominating papers.

Challenger Patrick Acosta, who submitted nominating papers on Wednesday, and Thomas Peters, who submitted them on Friday, are waiting for the Registrar's determination.

The three candidates vying for three seats on the Rent Control Board -- incumbent Ericka Lesley and challengers Kurt Gonska and Daniel S. Ivanov -- have made the ballot.

Candidates need to submit nominating petition with the valid signatures of at least 100 registered voters to make the ballot.

On Thursday, the Secretary of State will conduct a randomized drawing of letters of the alphabet to be used for determining the order candidates' names will appear.

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