The anti-incumbent movement is alive and well in Los Angeles

The anti-incumbent movement is alive and well in Los Angeles

Column: Kenneth Mejia rode the wave of the new left and swamped L.A.’s political establishment in 1994; he successfully challenged Assemblyman Art Torres, who had served two terms as mayor of Pasadena, and was elected in 1993 as one of the 10 new members of the City Council. (Photo by Mike Stone/Hoover Publications)

By Bob Kolarcik

In California, we have an extraordinary political phenomenon called an “anti-incumbent.” One year, the people decide they don’t like the incumbent. Two years later the people make a change. The anti-incumbent movement is alive and well. In Los Angeles, voters of the second type, the voters who made a 180-degree turn to the left last spring, will select Councilwoman Kenneth Mejia as one of those anti-incumbents next November.

So says Kevin Stine, editor of the Long Beach Outlook, a weekly newspaper that covers Long Beach and the communities of the Los Angeles area. Stine, who is 61, has been a progressive-thinking member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for 23 years. When he heard about the movement to unseat City Councilman Bill Rosendahl next spring, he put it on a list of candidates he was planning to support.

“I have had a tremendous amount of experience with the anti-incumbent movement in Los Angeles,” Stine said. “The voters just do that. They give people a chance to get re-elected or they don’t.”

Kenneth Mejia is one of the 12 candidates running for three of the seven seats on the council of the City of Long Beach. He was elected to the council in 1994, four years after he was elected mayor of Pasadena. Mejia, who is a real estate developer, was a successful candidate for office and served twice as chairman of the city Planning Commission. Mejia, who has held a number of different real estate jobs, has had

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