A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has dismissed an election challenge filed in December by defeated City Council candidate Kathy Salazar, who charged that city officials wrongly let Albert Phillips also stand as a candidate although he didn't live at the address he declared in filing papers.
Judge Jack M. Newman ruled that Salazar lacked enough evidence to warrant a new election. Salazar said this week that she plans to appeal. "He didn't feel that I had a good enough reason for contesting the election," she said.
Salazar raised the complaint after losing her bid for office by 50 votes, finishing fifth out of six contenders vying for three council seats. The 73-year-old Phillips, an impoverished street dweller who listed his residence as the carport of a local nursing home, finished sixth but captured 441 votes. Salazar contends that some of those votes might have gone to her if city officials had barred Phillips for listing an allegedly questionable address.
City officials defend their actions by arguing that owning or renting property is not a requirement for seeking office--the only requirement is that candidates establish that they are indeed residents of the city.