The City Council District 3 runoff race between Stephanie Wade and Lisa Landau has got a little more contentious in its closing days, after a Wade supporter filed an official election complaint against longtime resident Landau.
The complaint, which alleged that Landau did not technically live in the district she was campaigning to represent and had misstated her background, earned a lead story in the Bay Area Reporter, a Northern California publication “serving the LGBTQ community since 1971.” Wade, who is transgender, is a former Marine officer, a former PE teacher and has recently worked for elected Democrat officials Gil Cisneros and Katrina Foley. In the BAR story, she referred to Landau as equivalent to “Georgette Santos,” a dig at the recently elected New York Congressman under fire for misstating his background.
Wade moved to Seal Beach in late 2021 and filed to run for office in May 2022. Landau was a longtime resident of Old Town (District 1) and known to the community for her work with the Miss Seal Beach pageant, the Police Foundation, the Lions Club, and other groups. She purchased the McNerney home on Crestview on “The Hill” (District 3) last year and has been remodeling it.
Despite the noise elsewhere, locally things seemed to have stayed reasonably calm. Both candidates continued to answer a series of questions posed by the Sun last week. (See here for the previous questions: Questions 1-2, Questions 3-4, Questions 5-6, Questions 11-14, Questions 15-18, Questions 19-22.
The complaint against Landau was filed by Ed Hirsch, a longtime Seal Beach resident, whose twitter page indicates a passion for environmental causes. Wade’s statements indicate environmental issues are more of a priority for her, although Landau is also supported by those who consider the environment very important. Also drawing some early unwanted attention to the campaign was the insistence of a resident named “Doug” at a candidates forum to continuously refer to Wade by her former male name, before her transition. (Apparently “Doug” was unaware that people have been changing their legal names for years and its not really an issue — e.g. John Wayne/Marion Morrison, Kirk Douglas/Isidore Dimsy, Marilyn Monroe, Meg Ryan, etc etc.)
Recent history tells us the complaint is unlikely to do anything as the majority of votes have probably already been cast, with just a few days remaining. In the original November ballot, Wade edged Landau by 32 votes, 874-842. But candidate Fred Macksoud garnered 234 votes, and he would appear to be more closely politically aligned with Landau. If Wade’s and Landau’s original votes remain consistent, Landau needs a 33-vote advantage from Macksoud voters to win the runoff.
Here is an OC Register article on the runoff written earlier this month.
Meanwhile the runoff for Leisure World’s District 5 between Nathan Steele and Mariann Klinger calmer, yet still up in the air. Steele earned 44.6% of the vote (1,230 votes) and Klinger 22.5% (626). But 923 votes went to other candidates (Michael McGrorty and Jonathan Rich). Klinger would have to capture around 84% of those votes to grab a victory.