The membership of the Santa Monica Democratic Club on September 2 endorsed incumbent City Councilmembers Richard Bloom and Ken Genser in their bid for reelection but failed to give an endorsement to any other candidates, including longtime Democrats Mayor Herb Katz and Councilmember Bobby Shriver.
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party on Tuesday night, September 9, endorsed Bloom, Genser, and Shriver, along with challenger Ted Winterer.
Shriver said that he was “stunned” at the local Democratic Club’s failure to endorse him. “It’s very hard to accept in my hometown.” He said it was “not just because I come from a famous Democratic family,” but that “anybody who’s done the work I’ve done over the last four years” has demonstrated a commitment to Democratic Party values. (Shriver’s father, Sargent Shriver, was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1972, and his uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, is an iconic party leader.)
Calling Shriver “very responsive to all the core Democratic [Party] values,” Santa Monica Democratic Club President Julie Dad said it was “absolutely ridiculous to not have the Club endorse him,” and called the vote “an embarrassment to the credibility of the Club.”
The executive board of the local Democratic Club had recommended endorsement of Shriver, Genser, and Winterer, but the membership, which includes many people who are also members of SMRR (Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights) voted endorsements that exactly copied the earlier SMRR endorsements – not just in the City Council race, but for the School Board, SMC Trustees, and Rent Control Board as well – right down the line.
The September 9 meeting of the county Democratic Party voted to endorse the Santa Monica Council candidates recommended by the 41st Assembly District delegation members – incumbents Bloom, Genser, Shriver, and challenger Winterer. That meeting also voted to endorse anti-growth Proposition T, telecommunications tax Proposition SM. and SMC bond measure AA.
The Santa Monica Democratic Club is scheduled to take up endorsements of most local and state propositions at its regular meeting on September 24.