West Hollywood election: John Heilman could lose seat after 30-plus years

West Hollywood City Council could be reshaped when votes are finalized

A veteran politician who has been a West Hollywood councilman since the city incorporated more than 30 years ago is in jeopardy of losing his seat in an election that could reshape the City Council.

Mayor Pro Tem John Heilman, elected to West Hollywood’s first City Council in 1984, came in fourth place in an at-large election for three council seats, according to the city’s unofficial results.

There are about 700 provisional ballots and 80 mail-in ballots to count, so the results of Tuesday's municipal election could shift.

The top two vote-getters in the election were Mayor John D’Amico with 1,892 votes, and Lauren Meister, a market research professional and longtime resident, with 1,750 votes.

Lindsey Horvath, an advertising executive who served two years on the council after being appointed following a member’s death, came in third with 1,692 votes. Heilman trails by 28 votes.

The remaining ballots are expected to be tallied by week's end.

Twelve people entered the race to fill the three at-large seats, and the new council members will be sworn in March 16.

The council has long been dominated by incumbents. In the fall, with Jeffrey Prang still on the council, all but one of the members had been in office for more than a decade. Prang was elected county assessor last year.

The long tenures of the council members fueled a push for term limits in recent years. In 2013, voters approved a ballot measure limiting City Council members to three four-year terms. But in the same election, voters reelected two longtime incumbents, Prang and John Duran.

Meister led the push for term limits and has been a vocal critic of a council she says is too cozy with developers.

This year’s election was highly competitive, with D’Amico and Heilman up for reelection and longtime Councilwoman Abbe Land stepping down after serving 23 years. Duran was the only council member not up for reelection.

Prang's seat on the five-person council will remain empty until a special election in June.  The losing candidates in Tuesday’s contest have until the end of the week to register for the June 2 election.

For more West Hollywood news, follow @haileybranson on Twitter.

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