Norm "Firecracker" Westwell, a vocal member of the third largest
political party in the country.
Westwell met many of the candidates while campaigning for his
three political races this year: the City Council, Ocean View School
District Board of Trustees and the California Assembly, he said.
"When I went out to get signatures, I knocked on a lot of
Libertarian doors and many people expressed an interest in running
for office," he said. "I gave them all the encouragement I could."
This year's libertarian candidates include Hyman Crippen, Tim
Reilly, Knife manufacturer Robert Kliewer and Realtor Robert Mellema,
although they won't be described by party affiliation on the city
ballot. Party affiliations for city contests cannot be listed on
official election material, Deputy City Clerk Kelly Mandic said.
Some other last-minute filers include former council candidate and
Planning Commissioner Steve Ray, who said he plans to make a serious
run for office this year, campaigning on a platform of integrity and
government transparency; Green-party candidate John Earl, a freelance
labor writer and organizer said he wants the city to introduce a
living wage and halt efforts to privatize water; and Rex Ricks, an
outspoken opponent of the Long Beach Airport expansion.
"I'm a big advocate for open government," said Ray, who took
eighth place during the 2002 contest. "This time I know that I can
win, and I expect to win."
The additions bring this year's race to a field of 16, including
Councilwoman Debbie Cook, who is running for reelection. Also on this
year's ticket is Realtor Keith Bohr, executive Donald Hansen, health
care administrator and former candidate Jim Moreno, environmentalist
Joey Racano, restaurant-owner Joe Carchio, minister Andrew Blair
Farley and electrical designer and former candidate Peter Albini.
Wildlife board approves Bolsa Chica buy
The lower portion of the Bolsa Chica mesa is one step closer to
coming into state hands after the California Wildlife Conservation
Board approved its purchase from landowner Hearthside Homes last