Mayor Eric Garcetti will face 10 challengers in the March 2017 primary election, while City Controller Ron Galperin and Councilman Bob Blumenfield will run unopposed, City Clerk Holly L. Wolcott announced this week while releasing the official list of candidates who qualified to be on the ballot.
Candidates had to file nominating petitions by Dec. 7 and Wolcott’s office on Monday, Dec. 19, certified the results. Galperin’s only potential challenger, Adolfo Espinoza, failed to have his petitions certified. Blumenfield’s only prospective challenger, Angel Orellana, also failed.
Garcetti’s challengers include some political unknowns who have raised little or no money. The 10 challengers are YJ J Draiman, David Hernandez, Eric Preven, Paul E. Amori, Diane “Pinky” Harman, Frantz Pierre, Yuval Kremer, Dennis Richter, Mitchell Schwartz and David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg. Of the challengers, only Schwartz has raised a significant amount of money to date, with $255,270. Garcetti has raised more than $2.25 million.
In the San Fernando Valley, the seat for the 7th Council District is open due to former Councilman Felipe Fuentes stepping down in September to work for a Sacramento lobbying firm. Fuentes was under fire by his constituents who described him as “absent” and “unresponsive” through much of his term.
Residents who have been fighting the high speed rail coming through the Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace and Northeast valley communities were especially critical of Fuentes for not representing their concerns and abandoning the office he was elected to serve. As a result, twenty people have stepped forward and have qualified to run for the seat. Among the list of names are those who have previously run for office before including Monica Ratliff who is currently an LAUSD School Board Member who is now looking to make a switch for city council.
The candidates who have qualified to run for CD 7 are: Bonnie D. Corwin, Jose G. Castillo, Monica Rodriguez, Terrence “Terry” Gomes, Franki Marie Becerra, Mike Schaefer, Carlos Lara, Dale Gibson, Olga Ayala, Karo Torossian, Monica Ratliff, Venessa Martinez, Nicole Chase, Mark Reed, Krystee Clark, John T. Higginson, Art Miner, David Jesse Barron, Connie Saunders and Fred A. Flores.