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Incumbent Quits, Leaving 12 to Run for Council

August 20, 1989|LEE HARRIS | Times Staff Writer

LYNWOOD — Veteran City Councilman E.L. Morris has decided not to run for reelection in the Nov. 7 election, in which three of five council seats are being contested.

Morris, 76, is recuperating from recent prostate surgery. He has held the council seat for 18 years.

"My doctor said I didn't need any added pressures, so I think this is the best time to do it," Morris said.

Before being appointed to the council in 1971 to fill a vacancy created when a council member moved from the city, Morris was a board member of the Lynwood Unified School District for eight years.

Twelve candidates, including two incumbents, have filed to run for the three seats.

Mayor Evelyn Wells and Mayor Pro Tem Paul H. Richards are seeking reelection.

Wells, 42, is seeking reelection for the first time. She was elected in 1985. Richards, 33, was elected in 1986 to fill an unexpired term of Councilman Louis Thompson, who had died.

Among the 10 other candidates are four who have run for council seats in the past: Benjamin R. Miranda, Alberto Montoya Penalber, Kent Swift and Iris Pygatt.

The other candidates are Louis Byrd, Emma Mendez Esparza, Claude Law, Lewis L. Dias, Armando Rae and Zelma Owens.

Racism could be an issue in the contest. Black members on the five-member council say they were accused of racism after they voted to rename a major boulevard for Martin Luther King Jr.

In April, after the council voted 3-2 to rename Century Boulevard, some residents protested. Recall petitions against Richards and Councilman Robert Henning, who are black, were rejected by the city clerk because they were not properly filled out.

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