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Following health scare, Mayor Pieroni uncertain of reelection campaign’s future

La Cañada Mayor Len Pieroni
La Cañada Mayor Len Pieroni, seen here at the Dec. 6 Festival in Lights, said he’ll temporarily suspending campaigning activities while recovering from a recent health-related incident.
(File Photo)

La Cañada Mayor Len Pieroni said while he will not actively campaign for reelection to the City Council in March, his name will remain on the ballot.

Mayor Len Pieroni announced this week that, due to an issue related to his health, he will temporarily suspend campaigning for reelection to the La Cañada Flintridge City Council in March to focus on his health and family.

Pieroni, 57, said Monday he experienced a health crisis in late December that required a brief hospitalization and some time off from his job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he works as a engineering and construction manager.

Although he was already feeling much better, he said he was not sure how the incident would affect his candidacy.

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“Suspending campaigning seems like the right thing to do,” he said. “As much as I love city work, I have to pay attention to my health first and to my work and family.”

Pieroni said his wife, Brenda, has been an enormous help throughout the process and informed city officials of what had happened. The couple has two children, 22-year-old daughter Allison, and son Len, 19.

La Cañada Mayor Pro Tem Greg Brown became Pieroni’s campaign manager after deciding not to run for his own seat, to which lone candidate Councilman Mike Davitt was recently appointed for a two-year period beginning in March.

Brown said Pieroni hoped to bounce back from the incident and that it was still too soon to say for sure whether he would, at some point, resume his bid for one of three open council seats.

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“He’s right now focused on recovering his health and will not be actively campaigning for the immediate future,” Brown said Monday.

While the mayor is not likely to participate in campaigning events leading up to the March 3 election, his name will still appear on the ballot. City Clerk Tania Moreno, who’s overseeing the election, said the last day for any candidate to pull out of the race was the Dec. 11 close of the nomination period.

The city clerk said if Pieroni were to garner enough votes for a win but ultimately decide not to serve a second term, council members would have three options.

“They could appoint to the office a person who has been nominated, they could appoint a registered voter (of their choosing) or they could hold a special election,” Moreno said.

Pieroni reflected gratitude toward the La Cañada community, which has supported him throughout his time on the council, and to friends who have reached out to his family in the past two weeks.

Though down, he’s not out.

“I’m doing better every day and my hope, at a minimum, would be that I’d be able to finish out my [current council] term,” he said. “If something else were to happen in the next couple weeks, something could change, but for now I’m going to stick with my health.”

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