* This story was updated at 2:56 p.m. on 9.19.13.
The six candidates running for Long Beach City Council will meet the Saturday before Election Day in November at a candidates forum in the West End.
John Bendo, president of the West End Neighbors Civic Association, announced during the organization’s monthly meeting Wednesday that the forum is scheduled for Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., although a location for the event remains undetermined.
“The two political parties in town and the candidates running for office have agreed to have a West End Neighbors candidates forum,” Bendo said at the meeting, held at the West End Community Center. “So we can all meet the candidates and ask questions and find out their positions on things.”
George Trepp, director of the Long Beach Library, told Patch that two candidates forums for council candidates are scheduled at the library: Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., sponsored by the League of Women's Voters, and Nov. 2 at 10 a.m., sponsored by the West End Neighbors Civic Association.
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Three council seats are up for vote in the at-large election Nov. 5. Three Republican-endorsed candidates look to wrest back control of the council from the Democrats, who hold a 4-1 majority. They are newcomers Michael Franceschini, Janna Jachniewicz and Damian Walsh, who are all running as independents.
While Republican Councilman John McLaughlin opted not to seek reelection, two Democrat incumbents, Scott Mandel and Eileen Goggin, look to retain their council seats. While Mandel, the council president, is serving a two-year term and seeks reelection, Goggin was appointed in February to fill the remainder of the four-year term of Michael Fagen, who was forced to step down after he was convicted on illegally collecting unemployment benefits.
A third Democrat candidate, Anthony Eramo, is another newcomer who is also a candidate for the Working Families Party, according to the Long Beach Herald.
Of the 180 ballots cast in the Independence Party primary earlier this month, Jachniewicz garnered the majority of votes (27 percent), followed by Walsh (24 percent) and Goggin (19 percent). All three candidates will appear on the Independence Party line in November, but not Mandel, who received 16 percent of the votes. Franceschini didn’t run in the primary.
Mandel, Goggin and Jachniewicz are all attorneys. Walsh, a former treasurer of the West End Neighbors Civic Association, is an elementary school teacher and co-owner of Ribeye Brothers Cheesesteaks in Island Park. Eramo is a field technician for Verizon. Franceschini is a forensic accountant who investigates financial fraud, organized crime, public corruption and narcotics activities.
“Mark it on your calendars,” Bendo said of the Nov. 2 candidates forum. “It’s just before Election Day, which is great because everything will be fresh in your mind when you go into the voting booth.”