Kamar opts out of City Council race

The race for La Cañada Flintridge’s two City Council seats has thinned, as local businessman Charbel “Charlie” Kamar has decided to forgo the March 5 election.

Kamar, who unsuccessfully sought a council seat in 2011, pulled papers to make a second run but then opted to sit this election out.

Kamar said running for office would take him away from his 9-year-old son.

“Last time I ran for four months I had to shove my kids aside,” said Kamar, who owns the La Cañada Union 76 Station at Foothill Boulevard and Alta Canyada Road. “I want to spend time with my son before he’s a teenager.”

FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Charbel Kamar's first name and incorrectly stated the location of the gas station he owns.

That leaves three candidates — Councilman Dave Spence, Planning Commissioner Jonathan Curtis and financial analyst Joe Layton — running for two seats.

Mayor Steve Del Guercio, who has served on the council since 2001, decided not to seek reelection.

Del Guercio said in November that it is time “someone else get a chance to contribute.”

Spence, a five-time mayor who was first elected in 1992, said he is running to maintain continuity on the council and to bring to bear the experience he’s gained on issues including the proposed extension of the Long Beach (710) Freeway.

“I’m the oldest person serving on the council… and I’m running to continue to bring that value and expertise to our council,” he said.

Curtis, an attorney who has dealt with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other public agencies in his professional capacity, is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Councilman Michael Davitt. Davitt moved from the Planning Commission to the council in 2011.

Layton, 24, is a USC alum who works as an accountant and a financial analyst for the Thomas Properties Group.

Though he is sitting out this election, Kamar will remain a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission. He said he plans to make another run for the council once his son is older.

“I still want to keep involved in the city, so I’m going to shoot for 2015,” he said.

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