The West Hollywood City Council race continues to be a nail-biter. While the Nov. 29 ballot update showed Mayor Lauren Meister as the clear leader for one of the three open council seats, the other seats could be decided by just dozens of votes. Chelsea Byers stands in second place at 3,953 votes, 38 votes ahead of former Councilman John Heilman, who has 3,915 votes. Zekiah N. Wright is only 18 votes behind Heilman, standing at 3,897.
All Los Angeles County elections are “tentatively” scheduled to be certified on Dec. 5, according to lavote.gov. The same source indicated the official canvass of ballots must be completed within 30 days of the general election, and that date would be Dec. 8. In such a tight race, it is possible the makeup of the West Hollywood City Council will not be determined until then.
“I am super excited for each vote update,” Wright said. “It’s awe-inspiring the number of people that voted for me. This has been a long couple of weeks and I’m excited to see what the final vote count will be. I’d like to remind all voters who received a letter from the county registrar to fix their signature to do so by 5 p.m. on [Dec. 3] so their vote is counted. While I hope for an opportunity to serve this amazing city as the next council member, I’m not going anywhere if the votes don’t come out in my favor. I love this city, and I want to do my part to ensure it continues as a LGBTQ safe haven and a great community to live in for everyone.”
Heilman and Byers did not respond to request for comment by deadline.
Both Robert Oliver and former Councilman John Duran, who in initial vote updates appeared within striking distance of joining the council, have conceded their campaigns.
Meister has led the ballot count since election night on Nov. 8. She currently stands at 6,059 votes.
“The residents of West Hollywood sent a strong yet simple message in our election: they want a City Council that serves them, not outside interest groups,” Meister told the Beverly Press on Nov. 15. “They want us to focus on local issues – public safety, homelessness, protecting our rent-stabilized housing, preserving our unique neighborhoods and helping our small business community to thrive.”
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