West Hollywood’s future will be shaped by what happens a year from now when three out of five City Council positions go before the voters.
Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilmembers Lindsey Horvath and John D’Amico are the incumbents. Each can run one more time before they hit their term limit.
D’Amico has declared that he will not seek re-election, leaving one seat open to a wide field of potential candidates
Horvath is currently running for Sheila Kuehl’s retired position on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. If she secures a spot in the June runoff election, she won’t be able to run concurrently for her seat on WeHo City Council — leaving two open positions.
Mayor Lauren Meister has already announced she intends to keep her seat and will run for re-election in her first citywide campaign.
So far, only one candidate has declared their candidacy. Planning Commissioner Marquita Thomas kicks off her campaign this weekend with a fundraiser at the home of Councilmember D’Amico. Thomas ran in the 2017 City Council race and finished in 6th place with 1080 votes. In her previous race her largest contributor was the largest developer in the city, Faring Capital, and the Iloulian family. During that 2017 race Thomas described her discomfort campaigning in WeHo in this June 20 column written by former WEHOville publisher Henry Scott, accusing residents in West Hollywood West of treating African American door knockers differently because they were black.
Zekiah Wright has also declared that they will be running in the 2022 West Hollywood City Council election. Zekiah is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board a John D’Amico appointee. WEHOville profiled Zekiah here.
Heilman 2022? WEHOville has had a draft article titled Heilman 2022 in our coffers for three months. People close to the former Council member John Heilman have said that the founding father of our city, having served from 1984-2020 is disappointed with the direction of the city. But John Heilman was also the largest supporter of both Horvath and Erickson who have steered the course since Heilman’s departure. Heilman has one more term available to him should he decide to run.
Manny Rodriguez, City Advocate and current Vice President of the West Hollywood West Resident Association has stated that he has been encouraged by several people to consider a run for city council. When asked to confirm or deny intent Rodriguez replied, “Although I appreciate the encouragement, at this time I have no intention to do so. “
The first chairman of the brand new Social Justice Taskforce was rumored to be mulling a run. He told WEHOville he’ll be supporting Marquita Thomas in the upcoming election — but he confirmed he wants to run for City Council in the future.
Former City Councilmember Steve Martin has also been active. Martin who is in his 60s serve the on the West Hollywood City Council from 1994-2002. Martin has close ties to the Unite Here. Should Martin win a council seat UNITE Here would have a 3-person lock on local policy. Council members Sepi Shyne and John Erickson have also received the support from UNITE Here.
Anthony Vulin, a Business License Commissioner and owner of the Collective has also considered throwing his hat into the ring. Vulin has served as the President of the Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors.
Robert Gamboa, a member of the Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board and a John D’Amico appointee is also considering a run for City Council. Gamboa is currently a resident of the City of Los Angeles and would have to move to West Hollywood to qualify on the ballot. Gamboa has confirmed he is also considering a run in Los Angeles for the seat left open by Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Finally, yours truly. I have run for City Council in both 2015 and 2020. In the last City Council campaign I finished 4th. My campaign was mostly self financed with no campaign staff. In the next election it is very important to have somebody with business experience on the dais, and also somebody on the council who is all in for West Hollywood and not interested in higher office. My decision will be made by January 15th, 2022.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Zekiah Wright did not live in West Hollywood, and misidentified their pronouns.