Torrance Election Overview
Torrance residents have a packed field of candidates to choose from when they go the polls today.
Three candidates are running for mayor, while another sixteen are vying for the four open seats on the city council. The race is poised to dramatically reshape the seven-member council in the wake of the recent departure of Toyota’s headquarters, a story that has gained national attention and has become a symbol of California’s lagging business community. How Torrance residents vote could send an important message when it comes to the importance of California creating a more business-friendly environment.
Council Members Tom Brewer, Pat Furey, and Bill Sutherland are all seeking to replace termed-out mayor Frank Scotto today.
Brewer was elected to the council in 2006, running on a platform which opposed overdevelopment in the city. Brewer has positioned himself as a pragmatist who, like Scotto, would be willing to forge necessary relationships with political opponents in order move initiatives forward. Brewer’s stated priorities include opposing special interests, addressing unfunded pension liabilities, and restoration of city services.
Pat Furey has promised to make public safety and education his priorities as mayor. The six-year council member has received strong support from union groups and is the only Democrat running for mayor.
Bill Sutherland was elected to the city council in 2006 and, like Brewer, has been an outspoken opponent of excessive residential development. He has named responsible fiscal management and smart managed growth as his top priorities.
Two appointed incumbents are among the sixteen candidates vying for city council seats: Kurt Weideman and Heidi Ann Ashcraft. Both have listed public safety as one of their top priorities. The fourteen other candidates include special education teacher Charlotte Ann Svolos; retired police lieutenant Geoffrey Rizzo; retired chief financial officer Norm “Opa” Segel; retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Milton Herring; government contracts lawyer Clint Andrew Paulson; professor/business owner John Paul Tabakian; college student Ryan Mand; financial consultant Leilani A. Kimmel-Dagostino; business owner/engineer Alex M. See; veteran/business manager Tim Goodrich; business owner Aurelio Mattucci; business owner Rahmat Khan; retired business owner Mike Griffiths; and car salesma Omar Navarro.
Meanwhile, three candidates are also seeking to replace City Clerk Sue Herbers, who is retiring after 20 years on the job. They include Deputy City Clerk Rebecca Poirier, retired City Manager’s Office staffer Jay Scharfman, and city clerk secretary Gina Semana.
Read more about the Torrance municipal election here.