March 6, 2019 at 12:53 am PDT | by Troy Masters
West Hollywood City Council race ends as incumbents win

UPDATE March 12, 2019:

Candidate Sepi Shyne has pulled to within less than one percent of incumbent John D’Amico, currently serving Mayor of West Hollywood.

3,944 votes were cast for Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Horvath (24.33 percent of total vote); 3,610 votes were cast for Councilmember Lauren Meister (22.27 percent of total vote); 2,438 votes were cast for Mayor John D’Amico (15.04 percent of the total vote); 2,299 votes were cast for candidate Sepi Shyne (14.18 percent of the total vote).

Well behind the top 4 vote getters was James Duke Mason with 1,330 votes (8.21 percent of the total vote) and Marquita Thomas who received 1,078 votes (6.65 percent of the total vote).

Previous reporting follows.

4,574 votes were cast, 16 percent of all registered voters in West Hollywood on March 5 after more than $400,000 was spent as 11 candidates vied for three seats in the 2019 campaign for West Hollywood City Council. 864 ballots have yet to be folded into the total.

But it was the incumbents who had the clear advantage as their profile was pushed ever higher by multiple controversies swirling around former Mayor John Duran.

Lindsey Horvath wants West Hollywood to be an age-friendly community, and equally hospitable to bikes and pedestrians. (Photo via facebook.com/lindsey.horvath.82)

Lindsey Horvath, received the most support with 2917 votes (%24.38), Horvath, an incumbent, was most recently elected in 2015 but also served on the council from 2009-2011. She now becomes Mayor Pro Tem.

Lauren Meister, seen here with her rescue dog, Spike, prioritizes policies to save affordable housing stock and local neighborhood-serving businesses. (Photo via Meister4weho.com)

Incumbent Councilmember Lauren Meister was a close second top vote getting, winning reelection with 2,708 votes (%22.63). Meister was first elected to the Council in 2015.

John D’Amico, seen here being sworn in as Mayor Pro Tempore (May 2018), wants to maintain a “consistently high level of social services for residents in need.” (Photo by Jon Viscott)

Incumbent Councilmember and now Mayor, John D’Amico, received the third highest number of votes, 1840 (or %15.38). He was first elected to the Council in 2011.

Iranian American immigrant, attorney, small business owner, and LGBTQ Civil Rights advocate Sephi Shyne has lived in West Hollywood for over a decade. (Photo via sepishyne.com)

Among the challengers, Sepi Shyne had a strong showing, receiving 1,582 (%13.22) votes and guaranteeing a solid base of support for a future run. Shyne congratulated the three incumbents but noted “Our Election Day poll checks indicate a not insignificant number of uncounted provisional and absentee ballots and my team and I are keeping our fingers crossed for good news in Friday’s vote count update.”

James Duke Mason, candidate in 2 prior council races, showed some strength, attracting 963 votes (%8.05).

(Photo via marquitaforwesthollywood.com)

First time candidate Marquita Thomas, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, member of the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and a former Christopher Street West Board member, earned 766 votes (%6.40).

Brendan Hood received 351 votes (%2.93).

The remaining candidates in the race failed to attract 1000 votes collectively. Tom Demille, Shwan Davis Mooney, Jack Cline and Eric Jon Schmidt each earned less than 3 percent of the vote.

Also on the ballot in West Hollywood were two measures on which advocates in favor spent nearly one million dollars to garner public support.

Measure B allows actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Arts Club chairman Gary Landesberg’s Arts Club project to move forward, a nine-story building that will house a chapter of the Arts Club, a London-based private social club.

Measure Y also passed, requiring a %7.5 tax on the sale of cannabis products. It is hoped the tax will raise $5,500,000 annually to be used on municipal services in West Hollywood.”

Jackie Goldberg.

In another significant race in Los Angeles County, Jackie Goldberg is the presumptive winner in her quest to return to the Los Angeles school board where she served many years ago, then as president. She was elected to LA City Council, then to state Assembly. She is one of the pioneering founders of the California LGBT Legislative Caucus. When she decided not to run for re-election, she returned to teaching in Compton.

With all precincts now reporting she has garnered more than 48% of the vote.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this article claimed 12,000+ votes were cast, an error that did not take into consideration that voters can vote for up to 3 candidates. Los Angeles Blade regrets the error.

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