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Challengers Unseat Incumbents in City Council Race

Mar 08, 2017 12:24PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach voters on Tuesday elected two Manhattan Beach City Council veterans and a newcomer, while voting out two incumbent members of the council. 

Steve Napolitano, Nancy Hersman, and Richard Montgomery led the field, winning the three vacant seats on the council. Napolitano received 3,026 votes, followed by Hersman with 2,319 votes and Montgomery with 1,906 votes. 

City Council incumbents Mark Burton and Tony D'Errico trailed with 1,777 votes and 1,343 votes, respectively. Rounding out the field were Diane Barkelew Wallace with 896 votes, Chris Conoway with 827 votes, and Joseph Ungoco with 586 votes. 

Napolitano and Montgomery are both former City Council members who were returning after a required break from running for council. 

Napolitano, an attorney, was the youngest person elected to the Manhattan Beach City Council, at age 26, in 1992. He served until 2005. Until recently, he had served at senior deputy to 4th District Supervisor Don Knabe, who termed out in December 2016. 

Montgomery, a small business owner, served on the City Council from 2005-2013 and has held leadership roles in a variety of local civic organizations. 

Hersman, an attorney, served on the Manhattan Beach Unified School District board from 2005-2009. She has just completed a term on the city Planning Commission. 

The candidates were running to fill a seat vacated by termed-out Councilmember Wayne Powell, as well as the two seats that Burton and D'Errico had held. 

The new terms will be slightly shorter, extending just until November 2020, to come into compliance with a new state law calling for even-year elections. That new law is what had prompted the school board to vote last week to extend current terms for one year. 

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