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Eleven Council Candidates Pull Nominating Papers

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By Jorge Casuso

July 18, 2022 -- Eleven candidates -- including an incumbent, a Rent Control Board member and the founder of a local online grassroots group -- pulled nominating papers Monday in the race for three open seats on the Santa Monica City Council.

Of the three incumbents up for re-election on November 8, only Councilmember Lana Negrete, who was appointed to the Council in June of last year, pulled papers on the first day.

Mayor Sue Himmelrich has said she will not run for a third term, while Mayor Pro Tem Kristin McCowan, who would be running for her first full four-year term is rumored not to be running.

Armen Melkonians, whose online Residocracy group was a popular forum for slow-growth activists and an organizing platform that helped defeat a major development project, also pulled nominating papers after running in 2016.

So did Rent Board member Coroline Torosis, who has the strong backing of Mayor Himmelrich and Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR), which faces a crucial test of its power in November.

Also pulling nominating papers was Planning Commissioner Ellis Raskin and Albin Gielicz, chair of the Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) board and a member of the Recreation and Parks Commission.

Other Council candidates who pulled nominating papers on Monday were Whitney Bain, who ran for Council in 2014; Carl Arnold; Troy Harris; Samantha Moto; Nathaniel Wilson and Shannon Yoshikawa.

To qualify for the ballot, candidates must gather the valid signatures of 100 Santa Monica voters. Voters may sign one set of papers per vacant seat.

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.

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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