Crowded council field splits vote among twenty hopefuls
By Eddie Rivera, News Editor
Besting a crowded field of 20 candidates, North Valley businesswoman Monica Rodriguez and former Paul Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian will meet in a May 15 runoff, after capturing 27.70% and 16.35% of the vote, respectively, for the open seat in Council District 7.
The race was the most crowded in the City’s eight council races this election cycle, and saw a host of political newcomers from all over the district take up the battle for the seat, which was left open following Felipe Fuentes’ sudden departure last year.
Among the twenty candidates in the local race were former city employees, a neighborhood council president, a movie stuntman, a restaurateur, attorneys, and other small business owners from Sun Valley to Tujunga. The candidates represented the diversity of the District, from the horse trails of Shadow Hills to the working-class neighborhoods of Pacoima.
Following behind Torossian and Rodriguez were former LAUSD school board member Monica Ratliff with 14.53% of the vote, and Crow’s Nest owner Art Miner with 7.89% of the vote, a surprising showing for a political novice.
Stuntman/rancher Dale Gibson defeated fifteen of the remaining candidates, most of whom were also relatively new to District-wide political campaigning, including Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council President Krystee Clark, who finished a disappointing 11th.
After Gibson, none of the remaining candidates managed to top more than 6% of the vote, with Bonnie Corwin bringing up the rear with 0.61% of the vote.