WEST HOLLYWOOD—During the November 3 General Election, there will be a total of 11 candidates running for two open seats for on the West Hollywood City Council.
Two of the 11 candidates will be incumbents John Duran and John Heilman.
Duran has been an elected member of the City Council since 2001. He is a civil rights attorney who has been an advocate for LGBTQI rights, mental health issues, arts and cultural events, and affordable housing.
Heilman has been on the City Council since November 1984 and served as mayor in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2010. He is the longest-serving openly gay elected official in the United States. He drafted the city’s landmark ordinance prohibiting HIV and AIDS discrimination, helped establish the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, and played a role in building West Hollywood’s library in 2011.
Other candidates on the ballot will be Larry Block, Marco Colantonio, Jerome Cleary, Tom DeMille, John Erickson, Christopher McDonald, Sepi Shyne, Noemi Torres, and Mark Farhad Yusupov.
Larry Block is a local business owner of the BlockParty retail store. He is the current Chairman of the Public Facilities Commission, and the former Chairman of the Disability Advisory Board. Larry serves on the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Homeless Subcommittee and is a city advocate for Seniors.
Marco Colantonio is a local real estate agent and property manager. He is the founder of the WeHo Times and has served on the city’s Disabilities Advisory Board.
Jerome Cleary is a publicist and marketer who has served on the City’s Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board. He also performs as a comedian. Clearly ran for City Council in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005 and did not win.
Tom DeMille is a professional actor, notable for starring as a Klingon in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and Bombadeer Engineer in “Broken Arrow.” DeMille served in the City’s Disabilities Advisory Board and has lost the West Hollywood City Council election five previous times.
John Erickson is the director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. He was a member of the West Hollywood Planning Commission and helped the campaign of the #HealMeToo initiative, connecting sexual assault survivors to services in Los Angeles County.
Christopher McDonald is a T.V. stage manager who has been involved in many volunteer work including working with Friends of the LA River and discussing LGBTQI issues with young people with GLIDE. He is also a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Sepi Shyne is a business lawyer and the only lesbian candidate in the race. She has served on West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and Business License Commission. She ran for and lost City Council in 2019.
Noemi Torres is a real estate agent who has volunteered with Project Angel Food for sixteen years, Downtown Women’s Center, RED EYE, and the Skid Row Carnival of Love. She has been involved in the City’s Women’s Advisory Board and Public Facilities Commission.
Mark Farhad Yusupov is a realtor who is a member of the City’s Russian Advisory Board. He is also the HOA board president at the condominium complex he lives in.