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Results of KNOCK.LA’s Candidates in LA County’s Small Cities

Big wins, narrow misses… check in to see how KNOCK’s recommended, hyperlocal candidates and ballot measures played out this election.

Photo Credit: Ricky de Lavega

It‘s been a big year for small races. As more voters are paying attention to who represents them in their own backyards, progressive change was on ballots up and down, and KNOCK.LA was watching. Let’s see how it all went…

In one of the most exciting small cities developments, Alhambra elected Sasha Renee Perez, a young progressive advocate for community college students, not only to the Alhambra City Council, but also as Mayor due to their rotating Mayorship rules. Also in Alhambra, Chris Olson was unable to oust a pro-developer incumbent, but voters passed new campaign finance rules.

Baldwin Park voters elected the first Green Party mayor in the San Gabriel Valley, Emmanuel J. Estrada, and fellow progressive Danny Damian is ahead for the second seat on the City Council.

Burbank voters gave Konstantine Anthony the most votes for city council, but also voted against the rent control initiative he advocated by 63% to 37%.

While KNOCK.LA did not make a recommendation in Carson’s mayoral election, it is deeply satisfying to see incumbent Albert Robles, who attempted to pin the blame for refinery fires on air quality regulators (!), decisively defeated in third place.

In Claremont, progressive city council candidate Bennett Rea lost, as did school board candidate Chris Naticchia.

Culver City voters elected one of the three progressives, Yasmine McMorrin, and another, Freddy Puza, is narrowly ahead in the race for the third seat, but Darrel Menthe likely lost. Voters also passed a real property transfer tax, rejected a prohibition on rent control, and elected KNOCK.LA’s candidates, Dr. Kelly Kent and Paula Amezola de Herrera, to the school board.

In Downey, Catherine Alvarez won a city council seat, but Alexandria Contreras and Juan Martinez didn’t. However, their campaigns succeeded in pushing the incumbents to oppose Metro’s plan to widen the 605 Freeway, which is now on hold.

Voters in the El Camino Community College District defeated George Turner (Inglewood) and Peter Aziz and Nicole Ryan (South Bay) for the board of trustees.

In El Monte, it was the Year of the Woman as the incumbent mayor and a councilman were defeated by female candidates, but progressives Irma Zamorano and Gabriel Ramirez didn’t win either. One of KNOCK.LA’s recommended city council candidates, Victoria Martinez, won re-election. El Monte voters also passed a measure to allow up to 500 units of affordable housing.

Lennox school board incumbents appeared to have fended off a challenge by progressive LGBT college student Christian Lucas.

Long Beach voters passed an oil extraction tax increase and elected Suely Saro to the city council, but defeated Tunua Thrash-Ntuk.

In a surprise upset, socialist Jason Boxer won their first election to the Manhattan Beach school board in one of the most affluent cities in the state. However, police accountability Phoebe Lyons lost her bid for the city council.

Maywood City Council candidate Carlos Alvarez lost, along with the rest of the candidates on his slate.

By contrast, Bernie 2020 field organizer Scarlet Peralta defeated an incumbent to become a city councilmember in Montebello.

In Monterey Park, a general plan amendment allowing more rental units downtown and more housing along major corridors is winning, but not quite by a safe margin.

Voters in the canyons between the 101 and 405 Freeways overwhelmingly approved a Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority parcel tax for wildfire prevention.

Eric Ohlsen finished a distant third in his bid to become Palmdale’s mayor, as did Miranda Sheffield for Pomona City Council.

In Paramount Sara Huezo lost her school board race.

Pearblossom arts advocate Christopher Minsal is narrowly behind in the race for the Keppel Union School Distict.

In another surprising upset, Santa Clarita Community College District graduate and Sebastian Cazares is narrowly ahead in his first election for the board of trustees.

Caro Jauregui will be a new board member of the Whittier City School District because the Registrar discovered less than two weeks before Election Day that she was the only eligible candidate.

Santa Monica voters passed a real estate transfer tax as three of the four incumbent city councilmembers are narrowly behind in their bid for re-election.

In South Pasadena Evelyn Zneimer is narrowly ahead for city council, while Michelle Hammond is narrowly behind.

Torrance school board candidate Jasmine Park is narrowly ahead in vying for the second of two seats.

West Covina teacher Brian Tabatabai is leading in his first bid for city council.

In West Hollywood’s Battle of the Johns, voters ousted long-time incumbents John Heilman and scandal-plagued John Duran, with KNOCK.LA’s recommended candidate, Sepi Shyne, winning first place, and another John, John Erickson, in second.

The water board races revealed mixed results. Desi Alvarez finally defeated a pro-desalination incumbent on the West Basin Municipal Water District board in Redondo Beach. Leticia Vasquez Wilson and Martha Camacho-Rodriguez won re-election to the Central Basin Municipal Water District board. However, they split support in their competing bids to be elected to the Water Replenishment District of Southern California’s board as well. They received more votes in total than the incumbent, who nonetheless won re-election.

If California allowed ranked choice voting for local boards, this problem could have been avoided. Unfortunately, Governor Newsom vetoed a bill to allow ranked choice voting for cities that don’t have their own charters.

Finally, in the closest legislative race statewide as of today, Abigail Medina currently leads by just 141 votes out of over 225,000 counted so far in her Inland Empire senate district.

KNOCK.LA is a project paid for by Ground Game LA. This article was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

Several candidates mentioned in this article were endorsed by Ground Game LA.