2 More Council Candidates Get SMRR Backing

Following last week's membership-wide vote, the "secretive" steering committee for Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights makes two more endorsements in the November race for the Santa Monica City Council.

Incumbent Terry O'Day and former City Councilman Tony Vazquez won key endorsements this weekend from the steering committee of Santa Monica's influential renters' rights group.

The 13-member committee of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights met behind closed doors Saturday, selecting Vazquez and O'Day over education leader Shari Davis and former planning commissioner Frank Gruber, according to the Santa Monica LookOut.

"They were determined to be the standout candidates, SMRR steering committee co-chair Patricia Hoffman told the online news source.

Hoffman told the LookOut that O'Day and Vazquez receive "super majority" votes from the steering committee, but added, “I was asked not to tell the press what the actual vote was."

Two other candidates had already garnered endorsements from SMRR. Last week, the organization's approximately 250 members convened for a convention with the majority picking incumbent Gleam Davis and Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer.

As the LookOut has previously reported, SMRR’s bylaws allow for the to support a candidate if there are fewer endorsees than the number of contested seats.

Four council seats are open in the 2012 election. Incumbents Davis and Terry O'Day are the only two who have pulled nomination paperwork for the Nov. 6 ballot. Councilmen Bobby Shriver and Richard Bloom—a candidate in California's 50th Assembly—are not expected to run again.

In a statement released by Gruber's campaign, the candidate said he will "campaign vigorously as an independent" to win a council seat. Traditionally, SMRR-backed candidates fare better in elections.

"I am grateful that when the SMRR membership voted in an open convention to choose candidates to endorse for the four seats on the council being elected this year, I was one of the top four vote-getters," Gruber said in the statement.

According to the LookOut, he finished ahead of Gleam Davis in the first round of voting at the SMRR convention last week, just 12 votes short of the nomination.

For the full story on the steering committee's endorsement, click over to surfsantamonica.com.

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