Candidate statements for council candidates to be released Saturday

The ‘public examination period’ for these candidates and their statements will last until Aug. 17

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(8/13 EDITOR’S NOTE): The following are corrections to the content of this article:

  • The statements are not being released. There is an examination period, during which time the statements will be available for review upon request.
  • Because an incumbent did not submit nomination papers, the nomination period is extended five days, to Aug. 12, and this also extends the examination period. The examination period shall be adjusted to Aug. 13 through Aug. 24.
  • There were 11 individuals who requested nomination papers. Individuals do not become qualified candidates until such time as they have filed the paperwork and the signatures are verified.

We apologize for any inconvinience these errors may have caused.

In preparation for the upcoming elections for three Culver City Council positions that are up for nomination, candidate statements will be made public for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 8. The reveal of these statements is part of a ‘public examination period’ in which constituents are given the opportunity to evaluate official statements submitted by candidates on their stance.

As of Monday, Aug. 3, there were 11 candidates who had submitted their papers to be considered. This list is headlines by current Culver City Mayor Goran Eriksson — whose seat is one of the three up for grabs — prominent Culver City figure Albert Vera, and former Culver City Democratic Club President Dr. Khin Khin Gyi. The seats of Thomas Small and Meghan Sahli-Wells are the other council members whose terms will be ending this December. While this will be the end of the first terms for Eriksson and Small, this will be the end of Sahli-Wells’ second term on city council.

Other candidates include Financial Advisory committee Vice Chair and Downtown Business Association President Darrel Menthe, as well as General Plan Advisory Committee member Freddy Puza, who has also spoken on behalf of Protect Culver City at recent city council meetings. The remaining candidates are as follows:

  • Heather Wollin
  • Robert Zirgulis
  • Yasmine McMorrin
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • David Murray
  • Adrian Gross

The public examination period for these candidate statements will allow members of the public to get a better idea of what each of the candidates’ campaigns are about. After this examination period, there will be a random alphabet raffle drawing to determine the order in which the candidates will be placed on the ballot. 

Former Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington President Delbert Taebel published a paper in 1975 titled ‘The Effect of Ballot Position on Electoral Success,’ and Jonathan GS Koppell from Yale University co-authored a paper with Jennifer A. Steen of Boston College in 2004 with the title ‘The Effects of Ballot Position on Election Outcomes,’ and each reached a similar conclusion.

Both papers found that being listed as the first name on a ballot increases your chances of being voted for when voters do not have “high recognition of candidate names.” Taebel’s paper noted that this effect is even more profound the further you get down the ballot as well, though this will not apply to Culver City with only the City Council nominations and just two local ballot measures currently slated for the November ballot.

After candidate order on the ballot is determined, Aug. 14 is the final day for city officials to officially transmit names of candidates to county elections officials, after which the field will be set for the election in November. For constituents, Oct. 19 is the final day to register to vote for the election, and vote-by-mail ballot applications are open from Oct. 5 – 27.

Terms for Culver City councilmembers are to last four years, and each councilmember will have a chance to be elected mayor based on a vote from the residing council. 

For more information on elections, visit https://www.culvercity.org/city-hall/information/election-information/elective-offices (culvercity.org > City Hall > Information > Election Information)