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Voters in 30 cities cast ballots in L.A. County

Longtime incumbents appear to be on the way out in some city council races. Board members are chosen in three school districts and a community college district.

March 09, 2011|By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
  • Voting troubleshooter Oscar Warren places an American flag for voters to see a Baldwin Hills polling place in the 3700 block of Don Felipe Drive.
Voting troubleshooter Oscar Warren places an American flag for voters… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

Thirty cities, three school districts and a community college district in Los Angeles County held elections Tuesday.

From Azusa to West Hollywood, voters chose city council members and, in some cases, mayors, city clerks and treasurers. Voters in the Pasadena and Redondo Beach unified school districts cast ballots for board members.

In West Hollywood, founded in 1984 on the crest of the gay rights movement, seven challengers — all gay men — were on the ballot against three incumbents, contending they have strayed from the city's roots by encouraging gentrification and pricey developments that younger gays can't afford.

The top three vote-getters would win seats on the council. Early results showed challenger John D'Amico, Mayor John Heilman and incumbent Councilwoman Abbe Land leading the field.

Heilman, who also is gay, has been on the council since the city's incorporation. He ran on a slate with Land, who was first elected in 1986; and Lindsey Horvath, who was appointed to the council in 2009 after Councilman Sal Guarriello died. Horvath was trailing in early results.

West Hollywood wasn't the only city where a longtime incumbent appeared to be on the way out.

In Bellflower, where three incumbents vied with four challengers for three seats, Santa "Sonny" Ines appeared to have unseated incumbent Ray T. Smith, who was first elected to the council in 1966 and has served continuously since 1994. Ines made term limits a central part of his platform.

Elsewhere, voters in Commerce appeared poised to pass a ballot measure that would implement term limits on the council.

And in Pasadena, the two incumbent City Council members facing challenges — Steve Madison and Jacque Robinson — were leading their opponents in early results. Madison was increasing his lead over challenger Carolyn Naber as the evening went on. Gene Masuda was leading a pack of five candidates for the open District 4 seat.

Redondo Beach held its first all-mail balloting for two school board vacancies. Those who did not return the ballots mailed to every registered voter could turn them in through Tuesday at City Hall or at one of the city's two libraries.

Polls in all jurisdictions closed at 8 p.m. and vote tabulations and results are being handled by individual cities. Voters with questions about results should contact their city hall. Elections originally scheduled in six cities were canceled when not enough candidates filed papers. The cities are Covina, Cudahy, Gardena, La Verne, Palos Verdes Estates and Paramount.

Times staff writer Jean Merl contributed to this report.

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