The results of the West Hollywood City Council have shifted following the Nov. 22 vote count update. Mayor Lauren Meister, with a comfortable 2,106 vote lead, is expected to be reelected to the council.
Chelsea Byers and former Councilman John Heilman stand at second and third place, with 3,949 and 3,912 votes, respectively. Byers was initially in fifth place after the first ballot report on Election Night, Nov. 8, but has surged to second place as mail-in ballots have continued to be counted.
Just 20 votes short of third place in the current tally is Zekiah N. Wright. Robert Oliver is in fifth place with 3,754 votes and former Councilman John Duran stands at sixth with 3,689 votes. Both Heilman and Duran lost reelection bids in 2020 following decades on the council. Duran was initially in third place following the first voting reports, but conceded the race on Nov. 23.
“I am very grateful that Lauren Meister and John Heilman were returned to council,” Duran said. “We need reasonable pragmatic people [on] the council to steady the city against drastic radical change. I wish Chelsea Byers success. I offer her the same wise advice given to me when I joined council in 2001, ‘Talk less. Listen more.’ Every time I failed to heed this advice – I paid a price.”
Oliver conceded the race on Nov. 22.
“In the closest election in WeHo history, we were only .43% shy, but we came up short,” Oliver wrote in an Instagram post. “This has been a life-changing journey. It’s not the end of the story, but the conclusion of a chapter. More to come. Thank you for your unwavering support and encouragement, your belief in me and, most importantly, your friendship.”
Heilman remained hopeful he will hold third place.
“The closeness of the race demonstrates why it is so important for people to vote,” Heilman said. “Although there are still a handful of votes to be counted, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve the community again.”
The new members will be sworn in at the Dec. 5 City Council meeting.
Byers and Wright did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.