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.