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Iseman in lead for 6th term on Laguna Beach City Council; Blake and Kempf also in line for seats

Iseman in lead for 6th term on Laguna Beach City Council; Blake and Kempf also in line for seats
Laguna Beach City Council candidates, clockwise from top left: Ann Christoph, Toni Iseman, Sue Kempf, Cheryl Kinsman, Lorene Laguna and Judie Mancuso. Not pictured: Peter Blake, Sue Marie Connolly, Allison Mathews and Paul Merritt. (File and courtesy photos)

Councilwoman Toni Iseman, art gallery owner Peter Blake and Planning Commissioner Sue Kempf held leads in Tuesday’s Laguna Beach City Council election as 10 candidates vied for three available seats on the five-member panel.

As of midnight, Iseman had 15.2% of the vote, Blake 14.5% and Kempf 13.8% with all precincts reporting.

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Iseman, vying for a sixth consecutive term on the council, was the only incumbent seeking reelection after Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede dropped out of the race in September to care for his younger brother, who was seriously injured in a traffic collision in June.

Nevertheless, Zur Schmiede had captured 7.1% of the vote.

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Mayor Kelly Boyd had already announced he would not run again.

Also running were former Laguna council members Ann Christoph and Cheryl Kinsman, aesthetician Sue Marie Connolly, activist Lorene Laguna, nonprofit executive Judie Mancuso, city Affordable Housing Task Force member Allison Mathews and former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Merritt.

Candidate Elizabeth Bates dropped out.

During the campaign, many candidates cited traffic, parking, homelessness, affordable housing, city finances and public safety as key issues.

Bradley Zint is a contributor to Times Community News.

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