Ocean Park resident Ted Winterer secured a resounding endorsement from the Santa Monica Democratic Club Wednesday night, the only candidate to clinch a majority from the club's membership in three rounds of voting.
The Planning Commissioner did it in the first round with the 81 percent of votes. He was one of 10 Democratic candidates—including the two incumbents—who sought the club's endorsement for the November election. There four seats are up for grabs.
Club President Jay Johnson said the one-candidate outcome is common when there's a large field of candidates. In total, .
"In years past it is very frequent because of division in the [club] over particular candidates," Johnson said.
He speculated Winterer was bolstered by , which left him 56 votes shy of taking office.
"I wasn't surprised," Johnson said. "I felt Ted had very strong support."
Before casting their votes Wednesday, club members were given time to ask one question of the candidates. It was asked by Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Margaret Quiñones-Perez:
You talk about buildings, you talk about environment, you talk about transportation... I wanna talk about the people who clean your houses, who take care of your children, who clean your offices and library. What are you going to do for your people here in Santa Monica, who are people of color, who feel inclusive in Santa Monica?
Quiñones-Perez asked to hear first "from the candidates of color." Tony Vasquez, a former City Council member, and the only Latino elected to the body, said he would focus on improving the Pico neighborhood and building affordable units citywide to giver lower-income families a wider variety of housing options.
In answering, Winterer touted his voting record on plans to. He claimed to be the only Planning Commissioner to cast a dissenting vote when the project was first floated, because the developer had said he would not agree to paying workers a so-called living wage. With an eye toward the future, Winterer noted he wants to "radically" improve and enlarge