UPDATED: John Duran still ahead of Robert Oliver as WeHo City Council vote continues

As vote counting continues, Robert Oliver (second from left) inches closer to overtaking John Duran. One of the two will join Lauren Meister and John Heilman (center) along with Sepi Shyne and John Erickson (far left and far right) to form West Hollywood’s next City Council.

John Duran kept his lead over Robert Oliver as new vote counts were released in West Hollywood’s City Council elections on Saturday.

As of 4 p.m., Duran had captured 10.35% of all ballots cast or 2,487 votes, while Robert Oliver had 2,403 votes, a deficit of 84 votes. The two have continued to rank at third and fourth place respectively.

In first place, Mayor Lauren Meister had 4,070 votes or 17.34% of all the ballots cast. Former Councilmember John Heilman (2,708 votes) was holding at second place.

An advocate for WeHo’s neighborhoods long before she became a councilmember, Meister once again proved she has a major bloc of residents solidly in her camp. Her upcoming third term will be her final one, as dictated by city law.

A founding father of West Hollywood, Heilman was first elected to Council when the city was incorporated in 1984, and he served through 2015 when defeated in the March 2015 election. Heilman ran in the June special election that year for the open seat left by Jeffrey Prang and was successful, and then served until his ouster in 2020. He will return to serve his 10th term (his third and final since term limits were passed).

Duran, too, lost a re-election bid in 2020 after many years of service on the council. Victory would represent a major comeback story for the longtime city leader, a sign of redemption from voters whose confidence in him had waned after a period of personal drama and scandalous headlines.

Even as ballots remain to be counted, the results suggest a backlash against the progressive tilt Council has taken on since Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne and Councilmember John Erickson were elected in 2020. Together with outgoing Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, they used their majority vote to push through controversial minimum wage raises and other ultraprogressive policies sought by the UNITE HERE Local 11 labor union, which assisted their campaigns.

If Meister, Heilman and Duran’s numbers hold, they are a clear signal that voters want the city to be run like it used to be — by the old guard.

But a mere 78 votes separate Duran and Robert Oliver, the most well-funded candidate in the race. Oliver, a Public Safety Commissioner, is backed by a slew of wealthy developers as well as UNITE HERE, whose influence over city affairs would likely continue should Oliver win a place on City Council.

The count will continue until final certification, anticipated on Dec. 5.

This story is developing.

Mayor Lauren Meister celebrates with supporters Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at The Abbey in West Hollywood. (📸 By Brandon Garcia)
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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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Wesley M
Wesley M
2 months ago

I don’t know why I feel the need to educate some of the people making ignorant comments here about the vote counting but here goes. The counting is all done by the County of Los Angeles Registrar NOT by the City of West Hollywood, City of Los Angeles, City of Culver City, etc. There are millions of ballots cast and it takes time. I agree it should be faster but stop acting like some MAGA Republican blaming the counting on cities run by Democrats. This is simply not how it is done.

John Arnold
John Arnold
2 months ago

NEWS FLASH: Chelsea Byers now in third place.

Eric
Eric
2 months ago

oh great, now we have Byers in third place, sickening! Things are never that bad that they cant get worse…..would rather have Oliver in 3rd place.

Last edited 2 months ago by Eric
TomSmart
TomSmart
2 months ago

How long does it take to count the 4 people who vote in WEHO???

Mick in Weho
Mick in Weho
2 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

*Snort* heh heh

Vaping
Vaping
2 months ago

I’m still pulling for Jordan Cockeram. There’s a lot of votes to be counted.

Edie
Edie
2 months ago

On another note, I’m loving Lauren more and more each time she runs!

Edie
Edie
2 months ago

What’s with Democratically run cities that takes them forever to count votes? Maybe we need to get back to teaching math in schools.

David
David
2 months ago

Duran cost the city insurance $600,000. I don’t know why anyone would elect him again.

JF1
JF1
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Where have you been the last 2 years?!!

David Abrams
David Abrams
2 months ago
Reply to  David

Poor insurance company

Gorge
Gorge
2 months ago

Can’t understand why it takes until December 5th to count what will amount to about 50,000 votes? It’s sadly pathetic, can’t you hire more community Ambassadors? At least they would be useful for something.

JF1
JF1
2 months ago
Reply to  Gorge

Yeah, something is really wrong if takes that long. We need to get our act together!

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
2 months ago
Reply to  JF1

100%

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
2 months ago
Reply to  Gorge

Your are correct, Gorge. Why can states with millions of voters tabulate the votes within 4 days? But this little “city” needs one month? Not buying it. We need in person voting and voter ID. When I voted, I handed my driver’s license. Why not?

Regarding Oliver, nope. We need more adults in the room.

ALSO, everyone deserves a second chance including John Duran. Anyone remember Bill Clinton or Marion Barry? Both got re-elected after their scandals.

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
2 months ago

Please, HaSHem, G-d, DO NOT LET THIS DANGEROUS Oliver PERSON ON CITY COUNCIL. WTF. We need Lauren & the Johns to return this city to normal. This guy, nope. No mail in voting. AND I am a Dem!!!!!! I walked past him when I was voting at Plummer, smug smile, his 2 person entourage. NO!!!

Michael Russnow
Michael Russnow
2 months ago

John Heilman did not serve continuously, as he was defeated a few years ago as well, but scored a comeback when newly elected County Assessor Jeff Prang gave up his council seat, and there was a special election, which Heilman won.

:dpb
:dpb
2 months ago

If we end up with Oliver on the council, this election was for not. Without a Meister, Heilman and Duran coalition we end up with a defunded sheriff department, further escalation of crime, more of counting the homeless at night, more woke political BS and our city driven by self serving Unite Here. Nothing will change as Oliver just replaces Horvath. Can you imagine the ruin of city we will end up with after Sepi Shyne’s year as mayor? Dear god.

Last edited 2 months ago by :dpb
Devestated
Devestated
2 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

Dear G-d is right

08MELLIE
08MELLIE
2 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

100%

JF1
JF1
2 months ago
Reply to  :dpb

💯% God help us.

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