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Semeta, Brenden not returning to Huntington Beach City Council next year

Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta parades down Main Street at the 2019 Light of Love event.
(Photo by Spencer Grant)

Huntington Beach voters will elect all fresh faces to the City Council this fall, as incumbents Lyn Semeta and Patrick Brenden have chosen not to seek second terms.

“I will have more to say in the coming months about what comes next, and am excited to pursue new opportunities where I can utilize the increased knowledge, experience, strength and resilience that this role has brought me,” Semeta, this year’s mayor, said in a Facebook announcement Thursday evening.

Semeta acknowledged that her year as mayor has been challenging with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Watching our residents and businesses suffer through devastating loss of income and empathizing with the collective fears and frustrations of the community has weighed on my shoulders because I care so deeply for this community,” she wrote. “And yet, I am so honored to serve as Mayor during such a trying time. As I’ve said so many times this year, I would not have chosen this year and yet I feel my role is such an important one.”

Semeta, a lawyer with a strong pro-business bend, has also served Huntington Beach as a member of the city Investment Advisory Board and the planning commission.

Patrick Brenden
A happy Patrick Brenden hugs newly elected City Clerk Robin Estanislau after he was sworn into office as a Huntington Beach City Council member in 2016.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

By day, Brenden is the chief executive of the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. He was also previously chair of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce. He did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday evening.

With Semeta and Brenden choosing to step down and Councilwoman Jill Hardy terming out this year, the three available spots on the November ballot are open to the 12 challengers who have filed to run so far. The deadline for candidates to file paperwork is Aug. 12.

City Council members are chosen at-large in Huntington Beach, and the mayoral position rotates annually. Hardy, Semeta and Brenden placed first, second and third in the 2016 race.

As Semeta’s tenure winds down, “I assure you my dedication and devotion to that task will remain as strong as ever. My gratitude to all of you who have expressed support, encouragement and appreciation is immense. It will take all of us working together to get through this and I am confident we will come out stronger on the other side.”

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