Long Beach Election Rundown
Long Beach’s election has proved to be a hotly contested race for the number of positions available. Be sure to check out our previous coverage of Long Beach's April election for more about these candidates and the issues surrounding today's election.
One of the fiercest races in the city is the fight for mayor. Both Vice Mayor Robert Garcia and retired NFL player and businessman Damon Dunn are looking to succeed Mayor Bob Foster, who will not be seeking a third term. The race between Garcia and Dunn turned ugly in the months leading up to the election, with their campaign devolving into personal attacks. There have been accusations in mailers about tax liens on Garcia’s business, or Dunn defaulting on mortgage payments. Even the mayoral hopefuls’ traffic tickets have been used as ammunition for each candidate to take down their opponent.
Garcia said that he tried to keep his primary campaigning positive, but he was forced to retaliate when Dunn “decided to start off pretty strongly.” Dunn rebutted that he was simply not going to wait for his opponent to attack him, and decided to come out swinging. Saying he’d rather be “the hammer” than “be the nail.” And that was just one recent debate.
In the previous election, Garcia took 25% of the vote, while Dunn took 22%.
The City Attorney race will be coming down to the currently appointed Charlie Parkin and outgoing Councilmember James Johnson. Johnson holds an impressive list of state and local Democratic endorsements, while Parkin is the choice of the Long Beach business community and local press.
In the election that led to the runoff, Parkin was at the forefront with 44.5% of the vote, while Johnson received 38%.
In April’s election, every odd-numbered district was up for grabs, with no incumbents trying to hold onto their seat. Meaning, when all is said and done, Long Beach will get five new council members. Candidates in the 3rd, 7th, and 9th district were able to get enough votes to avoid a runoff, meaning these three positions are already secured.
None of the candidates in the 1st and 5th districts were able to secure more than 50% of the vote, meaning two candidates will face off in today’s election. In the 1st district, Lena Gonzalez and Misi Tagaloa will be vying for the seat currently held by mayoral candidate Robert Garcia. Lena Gonzalez serves as Garcia’s deputy, while Tagaloa has a background in religion, holding a Ph.D. from the Claremont School of Theology. Gonzelez is a frontrunner after her impressive 46% of the vote in April, but given that Tagaloa surprised many with his win over veteran and former 9th district deputy Ricardo Linarez, he may have other surprises in store.
However, in the 5th, Carl Kemp, a city lobbyist, and Stacy Mungo, an LA County Budget Officer will face off. Kemp is known for his strong backing of labor, but has taken a bit of flak for representing the marijuana industry. Mungo seems to be more conservative which means she is more in line with the district’s more conservative leanings. She was able to secure 37.7% of the vote compared to Kemp’s 31.8%, making her the slight favorite, but it’s still anyone’s race.