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Candidates Enter Races for City Council and School Board Representing Venice

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

Seven candidates have filed nomination forms to replace outgoing Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th Council District includes Venice, in the first of two steps needed to appear on the March 5 primary election ballot.

The candidates include: Mike Bonin, Rosendahl’s chief deputy; Odysseus Bostick, a Westchester teacher; Frederick Sutton, a community advocate; Tina Hess, a prosecutor; Mark Darius Frank, an airports contracts analyst; Gregg Aniolek, an engineer, and Ronnie L. McCowan, a youth sports organizer.

The March 5 primary election will be held citywide to elect a new mayor, city attorney, city controller, fill eight of the 15 City Council positions and three spots on the seven-member Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Eduction. The LAUSD Board of Education’s 4th District, which represents Venice schools, is among the open seats.

The primary election will be followed by a May 21 general municipal election.

Rosendahl, 67, announced last month that he would not be seeking re-election in order to focus on his battle against cancer. Rosendahl, who has represented the district since 2005, said he will retire June 30 at the end of his term and plans to return to national public affairs television. He endorsed Bonin, his chief of staff, to replace him on the council.

Bonin, 45, launched his campaign the same day that Rosendahl announced his pending retirement at City Hall and in a few weeks has raised more than $50,000 in campaign contributions and racked up a series of endorsements from political insiders, labor unions and community leaders. Bonin’s most recent endorsements came last week from mayoral candidate and current City Councilman Eric Garcetti and former City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, a Venice resident who was first elected to the council in 1987.

The seven-candidate field does not include Venice resident Mark Ryavec, who quietly announced last week that he was dropping out of the race. Ryavec, head of the Venice Stakeholders Association, said he was leaving the race after failing to reach fundraising goals.

The election will be for a 3-year term on the council and a nearly $180,000 annual salary.

The race for the school board’s 4th District features five candidates, including: incumbent board member and teacher Steve Zimmer; Kate Anderson, a parent, child advocate with the group Children Now and member of the Mar Vista Community Council; Jeneen Robinson, an education advocate and minister; Franny Parrish, a library aide and advocate, and Samuel Paul Whitehead, a school council administrator.

The school board term is for four years and pays either $2,000 a month, if all meetings are attended, or, $45,637 annual salary for full-time board members.

All of the candidates have until Dec. 5 to file nominating petitions in order to appear on the March 5 ballot. Candidates can pay a $300 filing fee and submit at least 500 valid signatures or provide a petition with at least 1,000 valid signatures with no filing fee.

Earlier coverage:

Filing Period Begins for Los Angeles Primary Election in March

Rosendahl Announces Retirement at L.A. City Hall


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