Yes, local elections coming up — soon

| January 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

MARCH PRIMARY LOCAL CONTESTS abound in our part of town.

U.S. House of Representatives, District Attorney, other races

Local elections are just around the corner, once again. Mail-in ballots will begin appearing in voters’ mailboxes as early as Feb. 5. Voters have until Tues., Feb. 20, to register. In addition to the critical local races where voting will conclude on Tues., March 5, that date marks the conclusion of the presidential primary in California.

For local readers, the most interesting and contentious races probably are two — the one for the 30th District Congressional seat long held by Representative Adam Schiff (now running for U.S. Senate) and the Los Angeles County District Attorney race, where 11 candidates are challenging the incumbent, George Gascón. Some Larchmont Chronicle readers also get to vote for a city councilmember for Council District 10 and/or a Los Angeles County Supervisor for District 2.

U.S. Congress seats

Adjoining the highly contested 30th California Congressional District are Districts 34 and 37. Both have incumbents who are likely to be reelected. Jimmy Gomez is running again in his Congressional District 34, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove is running again in her District 37.

City Council

The only local Los Angeles City Council contest (even-numbered council districts this time) is for CD 10, along the southern and eastern borders of the Larchmont Chronicle readership area (see accompanying map). Running as the incumbent in this nonpartisan race is Heather Hutt, the appointed replacement for her convicted predecessor. Also seeking this city council seat are Eddie Anderson, Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Aura Vásquez and Grace Yoo.

Board of Supervisors

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors contest on the ballot locally is for District 2, in the southern part of the Chronicle readership area (see accompanying map). This also is a nonpartisan race, and the incumbent running for reelection is Holly J. Mitchell. Challenging her are Katrina Williams, Clint D. Carlton and Daphne D. Bradford.

California Legislature

This time around, there also are local elections for the California Legislature. In the State Senate, each incumbent in the local races is expected to be reelected: Senate District 24, Ben Allen; Senate District 26, Maria Elena Durazo; and Senate District 28, Lola Smallwood-Cuevas. In the State Assembly, two local seats seem secure, with Rick Chavez-Zbur (Assembly District 51) and Isaac Bryan (Assembly District 55) running for reelection.

However, for the 54th Assembly District, which includes a bit of the southeast corner of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council area, there are three candidates running for the seat currently held by Miguel Santiago, who is running for the more lucrative position of member of the Los Angeles City Council in the Downtown 14th Council District seat now held by Kevin de León, who is running there for re-election. Of the three candidates for Santiago’s Assembly District 54 job, Mark Gonzalez has virtually all of the Democratic establishment endorsements.

U.S. Senate and more

Statewide, there are 27 candidates running for the vacant U.S. Senate seat of the late Dianne Feinstein, and there are two ballot propositions to be voted upon locally (one state and one City of Los Angeles measure).

There also is a gaggle of candidates (23) trying to be selected as nominee for the position of President of the United States.

Most important races

for local voters

For most local voters in Greater Wilshire and Mid City, it looks like there are two local elections where their votes can make the biggest difference, each election featuring a multitude of candidates: the California 30th District House of Representatives seat long held by, and being vacated by, Adam Schiff, and the District Attorney seat currently held by George Gascón.

Adam Schiff seat

Fifteen candidates seek the 30th Congressional District seat held by Adam Schiff since 2000. He is not seeking reelection because he is running for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Dianne Feinstein. Top contenders in the 30th Congressional District race include former city attorney Mike Feuer, state Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and actor, producer and businessman Ben Savage.

The other 10 candidates in this race are: Josh Bocanegra, entrepreneur / A.I. developer; G “Maebe” Pudlo,
Silver Lake neighborhood councilwoman; Francesco Arreaga, legislative advisor; Sal Genovese, community services director; Jirair Ratevosian, public Health advocate; Steve Andraé Dunwoody, government affairs director; Sepi Shyne,
councilwoman / small businesswoman; Alex Balekian, intensive care physician; Emilio Martinez, producer / writer / comedian; and Erskine Levi, teacher.

Visit for more information.

District Attorney seat

Eleven candidates are challenging incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who was elected in 2020. Some of the challengers are from his own office. Like other county and City of Los Angeles races, the D.A.’s election is nonpartisan.

It has been reported that our D.A.’s race is being watched across the country as an indicator of public sentiment about criminal justice system reform during a time when there is a general perception of property crime increases. In fact, the New York Times weighed in with an early January article (“Who Are All the Candidates Running for L.A. County District Attorney?” that described the 11 candidates running against Gascón, including some from within Gascón’s own office, as follows:

“Eric Siddall, a violent-crimes prosecutor who has received the endorsement of the union that represents assistant district attorneys.

“Jonathan Hatami, a child-abuse prosecutor who frequently criticizes Gascón on the social media platform X and says he is opposed to Gascón’s blanket policy of never seeking the death penalty.

“Maria Ramirez, a veteran prosecutor who has sued Gascón, accusing him of retaliating against her for pushing back on his policies.

“John McKinney, who has been a prosecutor in the Major Crimes Division and led the successful prosecution of the man convicted of murdering the rapper Nipsey Hussle in 2019.

“Nathan Hochman, a former U.S. assistant attorney general who was the Republican nominee for California attorney general in 2022, an election he lost.

“Debra Archuleta, a longtime trial lawyer who is now an L.A. County Superior Court judge.

“Jeff Chemerinsky, who headed the violent and organized crime section of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles before leaving that post last year to enter the campaign.

“Lloyd Masson, a prosecutor in neighboring San Bernardino County who specializes in cold cases.

“Craig Mitchell, a former prosecutor turned judge who is known around Los Angeles for the Skid Row Running Club, which he established to help homeless people who were suffering from addiction.

“David S. Milton, a retired judge who has presented himself as a ‘law and order’ candidate and has promised to seek tougher sentences and pursue the death penalty.

“Dan Kapelovitz, a liberal criminal defense lawyer who is running on promises to tackle the root causes of crime, like poverty and addiction.”

Feb. 20 deadline to register

To vote in the Tues., March 5, primary election, a resident must register by Tues., Feb. 20. Because California has a “top two” primary, all candidates, regardless of party preference (except for presidential and county central committee candidates) are listed on all ballots. The top two vote-getters in each March 5 primary race — regardless of party preference — move on to the general election to be held on Nov. 5, 2024.  (In nonpartisan local races, a winner can be elected by a majority vote in the primary election.)

If you want your ballot to include presidential candidates, you must be registered in the party of your candidate. (The political party preference you selected when you last registered to vote determines which presidential candidates will be on your ballot.)

If, when registering, you declined to disclose a preference for a qualified political party, you still may request a ballot to vote for a presidential candidate of one of these three parties: the American Independent Party, the Democratic Party or the Libertarian Party. But not the Republican Party; you have to be registered in that party to vote for one of its nine presidential candidates. Learn more from the Secretary of State at:

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