Challenger Files for City Attorney’s Job


For the first time in 20 years, Long Beach will have a contested election for city attorney.

Attorney Wayne Kistner, president of the volunteer civic group Leadership Long Beach, announced Monday that he had completed filing his nomination papers to run against Assistant City Atty. Robert Shannon, the top aide to retiring City Atty. John Calhoun.

Kistner hopes to interrupt what he contends is a tradition in Long Beach of incumbents passing elective offices for city attorney, city prosecutor and auditor on to top aides when they retire.


“Long Beach is going through a real change,” he said. “The last time the people of Long Beach had a chance to choose their city attorney was in 1978. Jimmy Carter had just been elected president. The Long Beach Naval Station and Shipyard, as well as McDonnell Douglas, were running at full capacity. Things have obviously changed.”

The Navy has left the city and McDonnell Douglas was taken over by the Boeing Co.

Calhoun, retiring after 13 years as city attorney, was appointed by his predecessor and former boss, Bob Parkin. Calhoun is supporting Shannon, who has held the No. 2 position in the office since 1985.

Kistner is sharply critical of legal expenses run up by the city as it litigates high-profile cases, several of them filed by taxpayer groups. Shannon is campaigning on his experience in representing the city in more than 1,000 cases.