Iseman elected to 6th term on Laguna Beach City Council; Kempf and Blake also win seats

Iseman elected to 6th term on Laguna Beach City Council; Kempf and Blake also win seats
From left, Toni Iseman, Peter Blake and Sue Kempf won seats on the Laguna Beach City Council. (Courtesy and file photos)

Longtime incumbent Toni Iseman, art gallery owner Peter Blake and Planning Commissioner Sue Kempf will take the dais on the Laguna Beach City Council after emerging victorious from a field of 10 candidates for three available seats.

Iseman, eyeing a sixth consecutive term, received the most votes in Tuesday’s election, with 15.2% of the total with all precincts reporting. Blake placed second with 14.5% and Kempf won 13.8%.


Iseman was the only incumbent seeking reelection after Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede — who earned 7.1% of the votes — dropped out of the race in September to care for his younger brother, who was seriously injured in a traffic accident in June.

Candidate Elizabeth Bates also dropped out.


The three winners will be sworn in next month to serve on the five-member panel.

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

Iseman did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Blake said he was “ecstatic” that his five months of campaigning had paid off. He described it as “one of the toughest experiences I’ve had in my life.”

But he said he’s ready to serve residents who want a change from the status quo.

Kempf said her priority will be to meet with City Manager John Pietig and each council member to discuss the “pressing issues of the city.”


Vote totals and percentages

Toni Iseman (incumbent): 3,267 (15.2%)

Peter Blake: 3,110 (14.5%)

Sue Kempf: 2,947(13.8%)

Ann Christoph: 2,833 (13.2%)

Cheryl Kinsman: 2,696 (12.6%)

Judie Mancuso: 1,754 (8.2%)

Rob Zur Schmiede (incumbent): 1,526 (7.1%)

Paul Merritt: 1,365 (6.4%)

Lorene Laguna: 846 (3.9%)

Sue Marie Connolly: 422 (2.0%)

Allison Mathews: 329 (1.5%)

Elizabeth Bates: 329 (1.5%)