The filing period to run next April in the even-numbered Long Beach City Council districts opens December 21, but the only competitive race appears to be in the 2nd District where incumbent Suja Lowenthal is not seeking a third term. Three people have been actively campaigning for the post: Joen Garnica, owner of Garnica Interiors; Eric Gray, owner of ITO Solutions; and Jeannine Pearce, director of the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community.
In the other city council districts, the three incumbents are, thus far, running unopposed: Daryl Supernaw in the 4th District, who won a special election earlier this year; Dee Andrews in the 6th District, who is termed out and is running as a write-in candidate; and Al Austin in the 8th District, who is seeking a second four-year term.
For the 2014 city council races, the Business Journal prepared a series of questions for the 19 candidates running in one of five city council races. The “survey” proved very popular with readers as they were able to get a small glimpse into candidate views on a series of important city issues. We made it clear that the candidates may change their mind on one or more issues as they gained more information about one or more of the topics. In other words, we were not going to hold their feet to the fire.
Because of the way the races are lining up, the Business Journal decided to focus its questions on the 2nd District.
Our cover letter accompanying the questionnaire said the Business Journal would conduct candidate interviews early next year, allowing us to go into detail on many of these issues.
Candidates Gray and Pearce submitted their responses – which included nine questions specific to the district. Gray provided an answer to all 25 questions; Pearce skipped one. Surprisingly, Garnica chose to pass on answering our questionnaire. She did submit a brief statement on each question, for which she said she spent a lot of time in preparing. But we did not request statements so we did not read what she submitted.
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