[CD 4 Election] March Ballot Set With 14 Candidates

CD 4 CANDIDATES (top row, left to right): Jay Beeber, Teddy Davis, Sheila Irani, Step Jones;  (center row, left to right): Fred Mariscal, Tomas O’Grady, Joan Pelico, Carolyn Ramsay; (bottom row, left to right): David Ryu, Rostom Sarkissian, Michael Schaefer, Steve Veres; (not pictured):  Wally Knox and Paul Koretz

CD 4 CANDIDATES (top row, left to right): Jay Beeber, Teddy Davis, Sheila Irani, Step Jones; (center row, left to right): Fred Mariscal, Tomas O’Grady, Joan Pelico, Carolyn Ramsay; (bottom row, left to right): David Ryu, Rostom Sarkissian, Michael Schaefer, Steve Veres; (not pictured): Wally Knox and Paul Koretz

Fourteen candidates remain in the race to represent City Council District 4 (CD4), one of which will replace termed-out Tom LaBonge in the March 3, 2015 election.

CD4 includes Hollywood Hills to Silver Lake as well as Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square and Larchmont Village neighborhoods. Sherman Oaks is also part of the district.

Though the number had swelled to 18 as of November, several who had submitted paperwork to the City Ethics Commission to fundraise failed to qualify for the ballot. They failed to submit nominating petitions with at least 500 valid signatures of registered voters from the district with a filing fee; or at least 1,000 valid signatures with no fee.

Still CD4 remains by far the most crowded of the 2015 city and Los Angeles Unified School District elections, more than doubling any other contest. As it is unlikely any one candidate will receive more than 50% of the votes in March, a runoff general election of the top-two vote getters is expected May 19th.

Just five of the candidates managed to secure the 1,000 signatures and avoid paying the $300 filing fee: attorney Wally Knox; nonprofit director and entrepreneur Tomás O’Grady; chief of staff to Los Angeles City Council District 5 Councilmember Paul Koretz Joan Pelico; LaBonge’s former chief of staff Carolyn Ramsay and Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees member and vice president Steve Veres.

Hitting that 1,000-signature benchmark is not just a point of pride for candidates. It also qualifies them for greater city matching funds. Whereas candidates submitting just 500 signatures and pay the fee qualify for 1:1 city matching on qualifying contributions in both the March and, if necessary, the May election, those proving greater support with more signatures receive matching funds at 2:1 and then 4:1 in the respective elections.

Up to $250 of each contribution counts toward these thresholds. City matching funds will max out at $100,000 for each candidate for the March election and $125,000 for May. These funds to candidates are paid out of the city’s Matching Funds Trust Fund.

The candidates who qualified with at least 500 valid signatures and paid the fee are: Vice President West for the National Apartment Assoc. Tara Bannister; community advocate and businessman Jay Beeber; attorney and educator Teddy Davis; businesswoman and community leader Sheila Irani; vapor advocate Step Jones; marketing executive Fred Mariscal; small business owner Rostom “Ross” Sarkissian; public interest advocate Mike Schaefer and community health director David Ryu.

Oscar Winslow, a Los Angeles deputy city attorney, was the only candidate to submit a nominating petition but fail to qualify. At the last contribution-filing period ending Sept. 30th, he had raised more than $11,000 for his campaign. As with any candidate whose campaign ends with money remaining, he has the option to either donate left over funds to a non-profit of his choosing or return the funds to donors.

The order candidates’ names will be listed on the ballot was also selected in December, decided by a random public drawing conducted by Los Angeles City Clerk Holly L. Wolcott.

Per this drawing, Ryu’s name will be listed first—giving a slight, proven advantage to the current reported leading fundraiser. Veres’ name will be last on the ballot.

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