Mullen, Wagner, Peak Elected to Malibu City Council

MHS Library polling location, 2015

This story has been updated. Please see editor’s note.

The results of the Malibu City Council race showed a clear and dominant win by the slate of Fire Captain Rick Mullen, former mayor Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner and Mayor Pro Tem Skylar Peak. 

When sworn into office on Dec. 12, the three will fill open seats on council, two of which were vacated by John Sibert and Joan House, each of whom is to be termed out. Peak was running as an incumbent.

Mullen collected a total of 2,678 votes, winning top support in seven of the 10 Malibu precincts. He took first or second in all 10.

Wagner was not far behind, winning 2,556 votes.

Peak amassed 2,266 votes.

The three did not merely win across Malibu as a whole; precinct by precinct they swept, taking the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots in each polling place from Duke’s to Malibu West Swim Club. 

The three ran on a platform of “saving” Malibu, calling for a shift away from policies they saw as harmful to the city’s future.

“There are two forces working on changing Malibu in the overdevelopment direction,” Mullen said in an interview following his election. “There’s the monied interests that are deliberate and don’t care about the mission statement — and some of those are from out of town — and there’s what I describe as the unwitting changers who don’t realize the long-term effects of the things they want to do.”

Mullen said the new slate of candidates, though individuals, were elected because the people of Malibu want to feel secure that their city is in good hands moving forward.

“It wasn’t just, ‘Vote for me, I’ll lower taxes, I’ll give you free things.’ It’s our collective responsibility,” Mullen said. “It’s in the mission statement. The people of Malibu are responsible custodians.”

Wagner said the shift in thinking came about on the heels of Measure R, the 2014 formula retail ordinance that is still working its way through courts.

“I think folks in Malibu started with Measure R — their wishlist of how they wanted the communities to be operated,” Wagner said. “That was a good indicator for me, Measure R.” 

Both Wagner and Mullen said they did not anticipate animocity between the new members of council and current members, Mayor Lou La Monte and Council Member Laura Rosenthal.

“I get along with Laura and Lou; I always have. I’ve been on the council with them before,” Wagner said, later adding, “All five of the electeds now are going to stand up for the community. It doesn’t matter which slate you’re on or what machine you’re with. I truly believe we all have the best interests of the community at heart.”

La Monte, Rosenthal and Peak were unavailable for comment as The Malibu Times went to print.

Council hopeful Laureen Sills earned 1,544 votes, Jennifer deNicola earned 1,138 votes and Carl Randall earned 1,068 votes. 

Other races

Malibu local Henry Stern was victorious in his bid for State Senator for the 27th District. Stern, a Democrat who was hand-picked by outgoing Senator Fran Pavely to fill her seat in Sacramento, finished with 51.1 percent of votes cast, to Republican Steve Fazio’s 44.9 percent.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom earned more than 75 percent of votes in the State Assembly’s 50th District. Democrat Bloom defeated his Republican challenger Matthew Gene Craffey 109,040 votes to 36,042.

Ted Lieu, U.S. Representative for the 33rd District, won reelection against his challenger, Republican Kenneth W. Wright. Lieu, a Democrat, won 66.4 percent of the vote, with Wright earning 33.6.

The results of various statewide propositions were known by Wednesday morning.

Californians voted “Yes” on Measure 64, legalizing recreational marijuana. They also approved Measure 56 to enact a $2 cigarette tax. Measure 58 passed, which promised to bring back bilingual education in California public schools. Firearm and ammunition sales will be more tightly regulated in California following a “Yes” on Measure 63. Measure 57, a reform of the prison system to allow parole consideration for nonviolent felons, passed.

California’s voters declined to repeal the death penalty, voting “No” on Measure 62. Measure 60, which sought to require actors in adult films to use condoms, was also defeated. Measure 53, which would have required statewide voter approval before bonds over $2 billion could be issued or sold by the state, did not pass.

On a handful of statewide measures, Malibu voters differed from the rest of the voting public: Measure 51 (school bonds), Measure 55 (tax extension for education and healthcare), Measure 61 (statewide prescription drug price standards), Measure 62 and Measure 66 (death penalty procedure time limits). 

On Measures 51, 55 and 66, Malibu voted “No,” but the measures passed statewide.

On Measures 61 and 62, Malibu voted “Yes,” but the measures did not pass.

Voter turnout in this election was 53.3 percent of registered voters. That’s down from the nearly 80 percent of voters who turned out for the 2012 presidential race. This year’s turnout is a sharp increase from the April 2014 city council election, in which only 33.7 percent of eligible voters participated.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed incorrect data on voter turnout for the April 2014 Malibu election. The story has been updated to reflect correct numbers.