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Breaking News

Trial Court Rules Only Baker's Name -- Not Ryan's Or O'Neill's -- Can Be Printed On June Mayoral Runoff Ballot; We Post Court's Decision

Ryan's lawyers plan emergency Court of Appeal writ

Baker releases statement; we post verbatim

(April 25, 2002) -- An L.A. Superior Court has ruled that neither LB Mayoral candidate Norm Ryan nor term-limited incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill are entitled to have their names printed on LB's Mayoral runoff ballot.

The court's ruling (posted below) means Vice Mayor Dan Baker will be the only candidate's name printed on LB's June Mayoral runoff ballot, unless the decision is overturned by a Court of Appeal.

Lawyers for Mr. Ryan told this afternoon they intend to seek an emergency writ with the Court of Appeal.

O'Neill, barred by LB's term limits law from having her name printed on the ballot, finished first in the April 9, 2002 election with a write-in campaign. Baker finished second; Ryan finished third. Write-in campaigns are legally permitted under LB's term limits law.

Today's court's ruling effectively upholds the interpretation of LB's City Charter given by the LB City Attorney's office.

Attorneys for Ryan sued last week in an effort to get his name on the ballot as one of the top two non-term limited finishers. As reported first among LB media by, O'Neill's lawyers then filed a cross-complaint under the umbrella of Ryan's action, seeking to prevent the City from printing ballot materials unless O'Neill and Baker were the only two candidates on the ballot.

In the public interest, has posted today's court ruling in pdf form. To view it, click Court ruling on Ryan & O'Neill ballot actions.

Vice Mayor Baker's campaign released the following statement following the court's ruling:

Judge Janavs' fair ruling was appropriate and in accordance with California State Law and the Long Beach City Charter. The voters rejected Measure K and this decision affirms what Long Beach residents have already said - Yes on term limits and No to the incumbent.

It is unfortunate the Mayor chose this course of action to affect our electoral process in a negative and demeaning way. Suing the residents of Long Beach shows me that she values her campaign more than the interests of our city and citizens.

The city of Long Beach is at a crossroads - do we want change in our communities and businesses or remain stagnant with the status quo. We’ve experienced good progress in the last few years and now voters have an opportunity to make a difference - elect a Mayor who will create a city government that is representative of all neighborhoods and peoples.

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