Carson Mayor Al Robles, Jim Dear take election rivalry to court
Carson Mayor Albert Robles, who is defiantly seeking election to two offices. That the District Attorney’s Office says he can’t hold simultaneously. Is embroiled in a web of new lawsuits related to the November election.
Robles, a defense attorney, faces only former City Clerk Jim Dear in his bid for his first full term as Carson mayor. But has four challengers in the race for his longtime seat representing a larger region at the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, an agency that manages groundwater. Both elections are Nov. 8.
Most of the suits involve challenges to the three-word ballot designations chosen by the candidates to describe who they are, which can be crucial in deciding elections to obscure offices because voters know so little about them.
Last week, a judge ruled against Robles in ballot description challenges he brought in late August against two opponents and one who is running against a fellow water official. But he was victorious in court against longtime rival Dear, who sought to disqualify Robles from running for mayor. Dear, who was recalled as Carson city clerk, is trying to reclaim the mayoral seat he held for 11 years.
While Robles’ opponents have accused him of deploying theatrical tactics by challenging their ballot designations, the appointed mayor contends he is merely trying to call out dishonesty.
“Individuals are intentionally deceiving and misleading the voters in violation of the Election Code,” Robles said, adding that he is “trying to protect the integrity of the elected process.”
He said he did not file petitions challenging his other opponents because their statements are accurate. The lawsuits also target Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan and Carson City Clerk Donesia Gause.
Mayoral Rivals go at it in Court
On Friday, a judge ruled that Dear can list “public school teacher” as his profession even though he says he only substitute taught during a handful of days in the last school year.
Robles said he accepts the court’s decision to deny his petition, and that he simply did not have enough time to gather evidence and make public records requests to prove his case.
“I am giving him (Dear) the benefit of the doubt that he has taught, but I would be shocked if he has taught more than a dozen times in the last 10 years,” Robles said.