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Winner Winterer Routs Incumbents for Most Votes

How did the incumbents fare? Voters favor familiar politicians and those endorsed by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights.

Voters returned two incumbents to the Santa Monica City Council Tuesday, but it was a Planning Commissioner, who after suffering a narrow defeat in 2010, returned to topple both as the top vote-getter.

The commissioner, Ted Winterer, glided to victory with 15.1 percent of the votes. He won the most votes, but the incumbents, Terry O'Day and Gleam Davis, did not fall in their fight to retain two of four open seats. They garnered 14.5 and 12.9 percent of the votes, respectively, according to results from all 54 precincts posted at 4:48 a.m. Wednesday.

Clinching the fourth and final open seat on the seven-member dais was former councilman Tony Vazquez. He squeezed in with 10.2 percent of the votes.

The winners comprise the slate endorsed by the community's most influential political group, Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights. Independently, the candidates financed their campaigns with personal loans and political contributions ranging between $13,466 and $49,919. SMRR spent $98,722 advocating for the four candidates' elections.

See also: Exit Polls Show Locals Uninterested in Local Races

An Ocean Park resident, Winterer was favored by many community leaders. In an election year focused heavily on development, many Winterer supporters touted him a a slow-growth candidate. They feared a roadblock to victory when a new Political Action Committee funded by a prominent housing developer began supporting him along with three other candidates they considered to be "pro-development."

Vazquez previously served on the council from 1990 to 1994. He currently runs an independent advocacy and consulting firm, according to his website.

In their first shots at a City Council race, Shari Davis, Richard McKinnonJohn C. Smith and Frank Gruber burst onto the scene with decent showings:

CANDIDATE VOTES % TED WINTERER   13,586 15.12 TERRY ODAY   13,057 14.53 GLEAM OLIVIA DAVIS   11,605 12.91 TONY VAZQUEZ   9,129 10.16 SHARI DAVIS   8,091 9 RICHARD MCKINNON   5,984 6.66 JOHN CYRUS SMITH   4,818 5.36 FRANK GRUBER   4,619 5.14 JONATHAN MANN   3,783 4.21 BOB SELDON   3,184 3.54 ARMEN MELKONIANS   2,886 3.21 TERENCE LATER   2,829 3.15 JERRY P RUBIN   2,313 2.57 ROBERTO GOMEZ   2,147 2.39 STEVE DURON   1,829 2.04

On Tuesday night, dense fog delayed vote counts in Santa Monica, leaving residents without any new results for most of the night. The weather grounded helicopters carrying ballots to county election headquarters in Norwalk, forcing officials to use slower-moving ground vehicles instead.

Some 19,000 absentee ballots were counted and reported shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m., but the Santa Monica precincts didn't start reporting until after 2 a.m.

"Appreciate the patience & recognition of fog impacts, geographic distance and volume in L.A. County as we ensure secure ballot processing," Tweeted the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Kanox said results from Santa Monica and Torrance were particularly slow.

By midnight, only a couple handfuls of people people remained at an election night party hosted by Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights. Close to 200 had gathered earlier in the evening to watch President Barack Obama's reelection speech, organizers said.

"We've waited this long before," Nancy Greenstein, co-chair emeritus of SMRR, said of election results. "They start coming in around 11ish. By 1 a.m. you'll start getting a substantial amount of results."

Her prediction was off by about an hour.

Each of the winning candidates were endorsed by SMRR.

"So far, with the numbers we have, it looks like a tremendous win," said current City Councilman Kevin McKeown about 11:45 p.m. (McKeown was not up for reelection).

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Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Well said Brenda- any efforts I make I think will be focused on casting light on the hypocrisy of Community Core while letting the Section 8 Program go unfunded. A few vouchers that Ted W sees Step Up on Second and OPCC get is not going to cut it for the many low income seniors who do not earn over 1400 a month or have perfect credit and cannot afford over 800 dollars for studio in the new apartments and condos being built. The developers need to fund the Sec 8 Program for real- and retroactively - many low income seniors and disabled can afford the few hundred and then be able to eat- but cannot afford any other way of being here- where many have been for twenty years. SMRR and the Housing has a way of "cleansing the city of it's most 'unwanted' this way- it's wrong and not fair. That will be my focus.
Brenda Barnes November 13, 2012 at 01:50 AM
You're right, Dan, and thanks for understanding we all have a different part of this we have to focus on to use our time and skills wisely. The VTP Development Agreement is being discussed by the City Council Tuesday night at 6:30 at 1685 Main Street (4th Street exit off the 10, left at light, right at first street, park free in parking lot to the left--btw, the ugliest building in California, built by the City of SM). The more people who can come and state whatever their main point of view against this travesty is, the better. You can also e-mail comments to jing.yeo@smgov.net. Doing both would be very helpful. I also know that people who are in favor of tearing down old things of any type and building new, and of "cleaning out undesirable elements from the City" will also comment. I find their comments helpful in exposing the types of shallow, racist, young, white wannabes, for the most part, people who are in favor of this. No one over the age of 50 other than the developer and his friends has ever commented in favor of this development. We were here in 1965 and value what we had before the first demolition derby that led to rent control and now this one that will lead, we hope, to another uprising to set things right. A longer view is a large part of the value seniors can provide.
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 04:10 AM
I think this angle sheds light on the whole situation to be honest- while hopefully I can hold some hands to the fire- the mentally ill, felons, battered women and homeless drug addicts that all go through programs there and receive a voucher is fine- just extend it for the low income seniors and disabled. Do I have any belief that it will help? NO- but I would sure love to see those Section 8 books opened for the last years since 2007-
Brenda Barnes November 13, 2012 at 09:46 AM
I don't know anything about Sec 8. Who has been doing it since 2007?
Dan Charney November 13, 2012 at 08:23 PM
It seems that all the funny business and harassment of you, lack of transparency of that department - started in 2007. I am wondering what happened then? When and what triggered the increase of this cleansing and harassment?

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