Mayoral Front Runners Support Schipske Bid for City Attorney

Stephen Downing
Gerrie Schipske is flanked by Suzie Price and Rex Richardson at Grounds Bakery and Café on March 12.

In a call to the electorate to “Come sign my nomination papers for Long Beach City Attorney on March 12 at the Grounds Bakery at Spring and Palo Verde” city attorney candidate Gerrie Schipske got a great deal more than she asked for.

First in the door to sign her nomination papers was Mayoral Candidate Franklin Sims.

When asked why he was supporting Schipske Sims said, “I support her because had Gerrie been city attorney over these past seven years, we would have had an adult in the room to buffer many of the wrong-headed decisions passed by City Council – supported or led by Mayor Garcia.”

As Franklin drove off in his campaign golf cart, council member and mayoral candidate Rex Richardson arrived with his wife to put ink on the nomination papers.

Before Richardson could get away, the third mayoral front-runner, Councilmember Suzie Price, entered the bakery and signed Schipske’s nomination papers.

The event of the day then took place.

Richardson and Price posed for photos with Schipske in a show of political solidarity.

After the city attorney candidate posed for the unprecedented photo-op with Richardson and Price, the Beachcomber asked Schipske for comment about the demonstration of support from the three mayoral frontrunners. 

Schipske shook her head, smiled and said, “I didn’t see it coming.”

Before the day was out Schipske had the support of the three front runners for mayor and two candidates running for City Council seats – Ian Patton for CD 5 and Carlos Ovalle for CD 7.

In a second response to the Beachcomber, Schipske added, “I was pleased that three candidates for mayor and two for City Council joined dozens of other voters in signing my nomination papers for city attorney.”

She then added, “I thank them for taking time to sign my nomination papers and am hopeful this signals a commitment to move Long Beach forward in a new, positive direction.”

Ovalle Supports Schipske

CD 7 candidate Carlos Ovalle told the Beachcomber, “I support Gerrie Schipske for city attorney because of the standard reasons: she's an attorney, a former city councilmember and a long-time resident of Long Beach. “

He added: “I also support Gerrie because she's a long-time activist with an interest in cleaning up the corruption in our city; for Gerrie this isn't just a job, she has skin in the game.”

The CD 7 candidate summed up saying, “This is a historic election. The voting population of Long Beach is tired of the depth of corruption at all levels, and those of us running as opposition candidates, regardless of our personal politics, share one thing [paraphrasing newsman Howard Beale in the movie “Network”]: We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!”

Patton Supports Schipske

CD 5 candidate Ian Patton, who spent much of his day supporting Schipske at the bakery, shared his thoughts with the Beachcomber, writing:

“Truly outstanding show of unity at Grounds Bakery and Café today for city attorney candidate Gerrie Schipske and for the concept of local democracy.

“I want to congratulate mayoral candidates Suzie Price and Rex Richardson for welcoming their former mayoral opponent as she makes her run for city attorney official and for both signing her nomination papers.  (Three mayoral candidates signed her papers, as Franklin I. Sims had also come and left earlier.)  This is not something you see every day!

“Clearly, they recognize what a great service Gerrie is doing by making all citywide elections an electoral choice for voters and creating the opportunity for the local press to foster a dialogue between the two candidates for this incredibly powerful, important office of city attorney. 

“Simply put, the city attorney's job is to keep the council safe from doing anything that could get the entire city and all its taxpayers in big trouble. The city attorney can also guide the council to take full advantage of our rights and prerogatives, in terms of local control, as a charter city.

“Ironically, Gerrie's entrance into the race also does a service for her opponent, a staff attorney in the office currently, Dawn McIntosh, who now will have the opportunity to communicate her qualifications and agenda for the office to the public, alongside Gerrie's vision. 

“The public has a right to hear and see that from both of them and it would've been a horrifying disservice to the office, the public and the eventual winner for that not to have happened.  We have seen what happens in places with faltering democratic institutions, or no democracy at all, like Russia, and the result is always, to be blunt, a catastrophe. 

“Of course, had some random unqualified attorney entered the race for city attorney, it might not be that significant, but Gerrie Schipske may be the single most qualified person ever to run for this office.  She's been a well-known political figure with experience understanding municipal law, as it affects our city, going back decades.  She's both a lawyer and a nurse.  She is a former two-term councilmember and former LBCC elected trustee, and many other things, too many to enumerate.

“Most recently, though, she has busied herself as the force behind returning illegally diverted millions in Long Beach ratepayer dollars, in excess of what the Water Department needs for its budget, back to the pockets of residents.  And those residents are set to get that windfall returned to their pockets very soon!”

Richardson and Price did not respond to a Beachcomber request for comment.


Stephen Downing is a Long Beach resident and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.




Just what we need to transform the City Attorneys office and restore our confidence. To anyone who has followed the actions of the City Attorneys office this change is absolutely necessary!
Gerrie was the best councilmember we ever had in my 60 years in the Fifth District. We are lucky to have her.

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