Court OK's Baker's Amended Ballot Description as "Long Beach Councilmember/Vice-Mayor"
Ryan's lawyers file appeal, but City Clerk may print ballots quickly
(February 14, 2002) -- An L.A. Superior Court judge has OK'd a ballot description for Vice Mayor and Mayoral candidate Dan Baker (amended by Baker after his initial filing to add a hyphen and accepted by the City Clerk) which will read: "Long Beach Councilmember/Vice-Mayor."
Lawyers for Mayoral candidate Norm Ryan, who challenged the description as violating a state election statute (below), filed an immediate appeal.
Meanwhile, LBReport.com has learned LB's City Clerk may act to print the ballots quickly, regardless of the appeal (apparently there is no "stay" or injunction in effect preventing this).
Following the court's ruling, Mr. Ryan told LBReport.com he is glad he brought his lawsuit and is pursuing an appeal because he believes today's ruling is inconsistent with a CA Appeals Court opinion in another part of the state on similar issues.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor Baker told LBReport.com, "I am happy with the judge's decision. The ruling clearly points out that the ballot designation I chose is legally and factually correct. I hope that we can all now focus on the important issues facing our city."
At issue in the case was CA Elections Code § 13107, which provides in pertinent part that "immediately under the name of each candidate, and not separated from the name by any line, may appear at the option of the candidate only one of the following designations:
(1) Words designating the elective city, county, district, state, or federal office which the candidate holds at the time of filing the nomination documents to which he or she was elected by vote of the
(2) The word "incumbent" if the candidate is a candidate for the
same office which he or she holds at the time of filing the
nomination papers, and was elected to that office by a vote of the
(3) No more than three words designating either the current
principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or
the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the
candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing
of nomination documents. For purposes of this section, all
California geographical names shall be considered to be one word.
Hyphenated words that appear in any generally available standard
reference dictionary, published in the United States at any time
within the 10 calendar years immediately preceding the election for
which the words are counted, shall be considered as one word. Each
part of all other hyphenated words shall be counted as a separate
(4) The phrase "appointed incumbent" if the candidate holds an
office other than a judicial office by virtue of appointment, and the
candidate is a candidate for election to the same office, or, if the
candidate is a candidate for election to the same office or to some
other office, the word "appointed" and the title of the office. In
either instance, the candidate may not use the unmodified word
"incumbent" or any words designating the office unmodified by the
Among other things, Mr. Ryan challenged the contention that being Vice Mayor was Mr. Baker's "current principal profession, vocation, or occupation."
The court ruled today that allowing Mr. Baker to be designated as "Long Beach Councilmember/Vice-Mayor" did not violate the statute.