GARDENA — A total of 18 candidates are running in Gardena’s next municipal election on Tuesday, March 7.
Seven candidates are vying to succeed Paul Tanaka, also former undersheriff of Los Angeles County, who stepped down as mayor in June 2016 after being convicted and sentenced on federal charges of obstructing an FBI investigation into abuse of inmates in the county jails. Last month he began serving a five-year term at a minimum-security camp in Colorado.
The City Council opted to wait for the next election to replace him, rather than holding a special election or appointing an interim mayor. Tanaka’s third term would have expired in March.
The candidates include the four current members of the council — Mayor Pro Tem Mark Henderson, Councilmember Tasha Cerda, Councilmember Dan Medina, and Councilmember Terence “Terry” Terauchi, who has previously served as mayor — and two former members, attorney Ronald Ikejiri and educator Rachel Johnson. Also running is compressor mechanic supervisor Warren Kronberger.
Eight candidates are competing for two council seats: Rodney Tanaka, pastor and retired police officer; Wanda Love, president of the Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce; Cammie Le, analyst and real estate broker; Shannon Lawrence, civil servant and analyst; Harout “Art” Kaskanian, businessman and member of the Gardena Planning Commission; Nolan Jamora, business owner and former member of the Gardena Planning and Development Commission; Paulette Francis, teacher; and Charity Chandler-Cole, director of contracts administration for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
City Treasurer J. Ingrid Tsukiyama, who is seeking re-election, is being challenged by business owner Kathleen “Suzy” Evans.
City Clerk Mina Semeza is running unopposed for re-election.
The mayor, councilmembers, treasurer and clerk serve four-year terms.
Register to vote at www.lavote.net. Last day to register is Tuesday, Feb. 21. Deadline to apply for a vote-by-mail ballot is Tuesday, Feb. 28. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.