Mayor Ernie Kell this week endorsed Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Les Robbins as his replacement on the Long Beach City Council. Robbins, 39, is one of five candidates in the Nov. 8 election vying for the seat left vacant last June, when Kell was elected full-time mayor.
Council members Jan Hall and Tom Clark--who are often considered political foes of Kell--endorsed insurance businessman Tom Stewart last week.
Kell, a popular 13-year councilman who was known to walk every precinct before and after an election, praised Robbins for his door-to-door campaigning. The mayor called Robbins “a bright, personable young man” who has “the experience, the energy and the leadership” to represent the residents of the 5th District in the northeastern area of Long Beach.
Hall and Clark praised Stewart, a former city firefighter and a member of the city’s Redevelopment Agency, for his involvement with the city. Stewart, 57, also served on the city’s Economic Development Agency and is president of Retired Police and Firemen of America in Long Beach, among other things.
The other three candidates in the 5th District race are E. Gerrie Schipske, a health care executive; Craig Alan Spongberg, an insurance agent, and Rolland B. Samuelson, a community activist and retired car salesman.