A new candidate has emerged in what may become the largest City Council race in West Hollywood’s 30-year history.
James “Duke” Mason yesterday filed papers with the City Clerk stating his intent to campaign for a seat in the March 2015 election.
Mason has two attributes that will make him stand out from the nine or 10 others who have said they will run for office. For one thing, he is only 22 years old. For another, his mother is Belinda Carlisle, the lead vocalist of the “Go-Go’s”, one of the most successful all-female bands in history. His father is producer Morgan Mason, who also served as deputy chief of protocol for the late President Ronald Reagan, and his paternal grandfather is James Mason, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1940s. His family has maintained a presence in Los Angeles for seventy years and his grandmother has been a major West Hollywood property owner.
Mason is a writer and activist who has published a blog called the “Daily Duke,” (now inactive) where he wrote about international and national political and LGBT issues (Mason is gay) as well as occasional WeHo-centric subjects such as the battle over whether the rainbow flag should hang on West Hollywood’s City Hall. He currently is a contributing writer to the Advocate magazine. He also is on the board of OutFest, the LGBT film organization. Mason spent much of his childhood living with his family in Europe but returned to Los Angeles in 2010 and now lives in West Hollywood.
“It’s early on in the race, but we will have an official launch in the next couple weeks,” Mason told WEHOville.com “What I can say now is that I love West Hollywood because of the progressive values it stands for, and I’m excited to get out into the community in the months to come. We are a good city, but we can be great. We can be proud again.
Mason has engaged Matt David as his campaign advisor. David served as deputy chief of staff and communications director for former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and helped manage Jon Huntsman’s unsuccessful campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2011 and 2012. He is said to be planning a very aggressive fundraising campaign for the race.
As many as four seats may be up for re-election on the City Council in March. Incumbents whose seats will be contested include Mayor John D’Amico and Councilmembers John Heilman and Abbe Land. A victory by Councilmember Jeffrey Prang, thought by many to have a good shot at winning the race for Los Angeles County Assessor in the November countywide election, also would leave that seat vacant.
I have lived in WeHo since we became a city. Yes, I am very old and decrepit but while I lack my old Sports Connection body, I do have a working brain. My working brain wonders why I care about his celebrity parenting. Do the Bangles have a son running? If you Google his name he does nothing but talk about his Mom & Dad. He is 22 now. What have you done for our city?
Has this candidate served on any West Hollywood board or commission? I find it troubling when candidates simply run for office, an office which will require enormous decision making for the city, and have not been involved in our political system at all. This city is filled with activists. Run for council after you have proven yourself on a board or commission. Preferably both. Look at how Schwarzeneggar destroyed this state. Celebrity attachements do not make qualified candidate. All of the education in the world does not enable decision making for a city that you have not been involved in… Read more »
James Mason’s son is married to Belinda Carlisle, hence the late actor is Duke Mason’s paternal grandfather; not, as misstated, his maternal one – obvious enough from the name.
Thanks for noting the embarrassingly obvious error and alerting us. It’s been fixed!
A reminder about Comments standards: WEHOville implemented the Comments feature to enable residents of West Hollywood and others who love this community to comment on stories, ask questions of one another and engage in informed debates. With the exception of AOL’s now all-but-defunct Patch, that is something that was missing in West Hollywood until we launched this website in October 2011. As of this writing, there have been 6,381 comments posted on WEHOville since our launch, with the monthly average growing rapidly as our readership grows. Our commenters have raised some smart and provocative questions and offered up some innovative… Read more »
FFS, he’s not a Republican- his mother says she raised him better than that. Yes, he’s young, but he’s been a Congressional page, worked on the Obama campaign and studied political science, so he’s not coming out of nowhere to enter politics on a whim. At least he’s trying to do something more with his life than party and be a so-called DJ, unlike many celebrity kids.
GOOD FOR HIM! GOOD LUCK. MAYBE THIS WHAT THIS CRAZY CITY NEEDS NEW FRESH BLOOD!
Who cares if he’s Republican or Democrat! The real issue is do you want a 22 yo deciding on big issues West Hollywood faces? Has he ever budgeted anything? Does he know any Rules and Regulations of a city? Does he have any kind of public training? Does he know anything about mass transit? Population density, street issues, monetary issues? Of course he doesn’t. He might be a great activist, but our city has major growing issues and a lot of mess to clean up after that past 20 years with Duran and the other leaders have destroyed it. I’m… Read more »
@saveWeho: “a lot of mess to clean up” “Duran and the others have destroyed it (our City).” I’m sorry, are we leaving in the same City?! I’ve lived here for 20 years and I remember what terrible shape Santa Monica Blvd. was in (as well as the Sunset Strip). I remember our old, rundown library, our hideous park, the old crappy Mayfair Market, the mess our Eastern Gateway was in. Now our City is thriving as a world class destination with top notch hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Every time I’ve ever contact the City or the Sherriff’s Dept. I got… Read more »
I thought West Hollywood was a more liberal and progressive city where different points of view are welcomed. The very definition of being liberal is to be open minded..democrat/republican..what difference does it make?! Don’t be so closed minded – you’re beginning to sound ultra-conservative. LOL
Thank you for running for City Council. This town needs a breath of fresh air and someone who has not been corrupted. We need new ideas. We need young progressive thinkers. We need you!
We also need to replace the current City Council. They have ripped the soul from this city but it can be brought back by new Leaders like you.
I will do whatever you need me to do to make sure you replace any one of the deadbeats currently on the Council. It’s time to do some housecleaning.
I will contact your campaign soon.
On a less controversial note, but for the sake of accuracy, James Mason was actually a prominent film and television star well past the 1940s. His most acclaimed performances took place in the fifties and sixties, and he worked in important and/or popular projects up until his death in 1984.
I am someone who is inclined to back the incumbents, since in my experience this is an amazingly successful and responsive city. But in the interests of leveling the playing field, I’ll make this observation – there is no way the incumbents (should they run) are going to lose until somehow the anti-incumbent forces figure how how elections are voted on in this city. We have an election where either the two or three top vote getters win (depending on how many seats are open). To defeat the incumbents, the more candidates there are against them, the less likely they… Read more »
He went to high school in France. He comes from a family of means and has never had a job or been to college. He is very smart and is dedicated to LGBT rights activism. Doubt he knows much about finance or budget. If he wants credibility, he needs to go to college. He lists himself as an actor in most places I’ve seen. I get the feeling he wants to fast track into politics, but I’d feel better about him if he was educated or had a real job. Trust me, he will use his famous family in the… Read more »