A Few Races to Follow This Election Day
Some interesting municipal elections are taking place in Southern California today. Below are the races we’re watching.
Four candidates -- Marcus Tiggs, Daniel Lee, Harden Alexander "Alex" Fisch, and Albert P. Vera -- are vying for two seats on the city council. Voters will also consider a new cannabis business tax measure (Measure A).
Four candidates -- Chris Pimentel, Maria Barden, Scot Nicol, and Lance Giroux -- are vying to replace outgoing Mayor Suzanne Fuentes and Councilman Mike Dugan. All of them are new to the political scene. The city recently moved its elections from April of even-numbered years to March beginning 2022 in order to comply with SB 415. As a result, the winners’ terms will be one month short of four years.
Residents will also weigh in on Measure C, a three-quarter-cent sales tax measure aimed at addressing $134 million in unfunded pension liabilities. It needs a simple majority to pass.
The vote tally will be available in real time on El Segundo TV.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is facing a challenge from political newcomer James Conn in today’s election. Rent control has been a central issue in this campaign.
In City Council District 3, two candidates are challenging Suzie Price and, in District 7, three candidates are challenging Councilman Roberto Uranga. But the real drama is taking place in District 5 where incumbent Stacy Mungo has been embroiled in a bitter campaign fight over a number of issues. Her challengers are former Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines, community advocate Corliss Lee, and businessman John Osborn II.
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
Palos Verdes Estates voters have an important decision to make regarding the future of the city’s police department. If approved, Measure E would levy an annual parcel tax of $342 plus 20 cents per square foot of building improvements on the city, generating around $5 million per year to fund the department for the next nine years. If it fails, disbandment of the department is a real possibility.
The measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass.
Joe Vinatieri is seeking a second term as mayor of Whittier. Raquel McLeod, Rolando Cano, and L. Leon Savage are challenging him for the spot.
District 2 Councilman Bob Henderson, who has served on the dais for the past 36 years, is also facing off against challengers Eric Leckey, Vincent McLeod IV, Irella Perez, and Henry Bouchot.
In District 4, Lizette Escobedo, community affairs director for Service Employees International Union 2015, is challenging incumbent Fernando M. Dutra who has been on the council since 2012.
Crime, homelessness, traffic, and housing are all major issues in Whittier this cycle. This particular election has seen a large influx of outside money and negative campaign advertisements. Plus, some possible ballot confusion.
Three incumbents will be defending their turf in the Riverside County city of Rancho Mirage today. Councilmembers Dana Hobart, Charles Townsend, and Iris Smotrich are all running. Political newcomers Kate Spates, Bob Mueller, and Michael Harrington are challenging them.
This is an all mail-in ballot election, so no polling places are open in Rancho Mirage today. Residents who have not sent their ballots in the mail may drop them off until 8 p.m. at Rancho Mirage City Hall or at the Registrar of Voters Office at 2724 Gateway Drive, Riverside.
Elections are also taking place in Arcadia, Avalon, Lancaster, Sierra Madre, and Vernon today.