(April 18, 2002) -- In the latest twist to LB's dizzying Mayoral contest, LB fiscal reformer Norm Ryan has told supporters he is running in the June Mayoral runoff, either with his name on the ballot or as a write in candidate.
"I'm here tonight to tell you I'm not 'thinking about my options' [or] 'weighing the situation'...I'm in this fight. I'm running. I expect by next Tuesday or Wednesday that a judge will agree that I'm suppose to be on the ballot. But if that somehow doesn't happen, then I will pursue it as a write-in," Mr. Ryan declared, prompting extended applause.
At an April 17 evening gathering attended by roughly 70 supporters at La Palapa del Mar in Belmont Shore, Mr. Ryan said, "I will run, and I believe if I run I will win."
He added that while the write-in would be hard, "it's do-able...because there's somebody out there educating us on how to do a write-in campaign [O'Neill], so we're going to piggy-back on that education but instead we're not only going to offer up not only education but a choice."
Mr. Ryan added, "We just follow the pencils that are being laid out in front of us."
He said, "Right now, we don't have a choice. We have two establishment candidates that are for sure going to be running in the June runoff...We have nobody that's going to look out for you against the vested interests. Now I have proven time and time again that I will do that. I don't give up easy, but I'm not one of those too stupid to quit. I understand that there's a time and there's a season, but I firmly believe this is my season. I believe it's our last chance to get somebody in that isn't going to be bought off by the interests at City Hall."
Mr. Ryan noted that 3,000-4,000 votes remain to be counted on April 18, roughly 14% of the vote. "They probably won't be finished till next Monday, just in time to certify 'em for Tuesday and get the ballots out on Thursday, not much time to challenge."
Mr. Ryan said he believes that even if trends don't break his way, he believes there will be a court challenge to a City Attorney opinion (reported April 16 by LBReport.com) which said Mr. Ryan cannot be on the ballot if he finishes second to Baker.
Mr. Ryan questioned that interpretation and said he believes a court challenge could succeed on the merits, noting the City Attorney had previously said Ryan needed over 20,000 signatures for Prop J when the actual number was roughly 3,900, and defended a utility bill insert as factual that a Superior Court later enjoined as too political. "I believe if you have a just cause, you need to fight," Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan is second among Mayoral candidates on the ballot, roughly 600 votes behind Vice Mayor Dan Baker, but both Baker and Ryan trail incumbent LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill who finished first with a write-in candidacy.
During a Q & A session, the issue of additional flights at LB Airport arose. Mr. Ryan said, "41 flight cap. No more. If they sue us, we don't fold. We sue back. We hold the line. We use every possible strategy to keep the cap in place because that's the promise we made to people here."