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Sean Ashton, Shahira A-Malek, Robert Kiefer
  • Sean Ashton, Shahira A-Malek, Robert Kiefer

Open seat on city council draws 3 candidates
Sean Ashton, Shahira A-Malek and Robert Kiefer seeking to replace Mario Guerra.
WRITTEN BY :   Eric Pierce, Editor

DOWNEY – Three people have filed papers with the city clerk’s office seeking election to the City Council.

The list of names includes Robert Kiefer, who previously announced his intention to run; Sean Ashton, an educator; and Shahira A-Malek, a physician.

Friday was the last day to file to run in November’s election.

All three are seeking to replace Councilman Mario Guerra, who will be termed out of his District 2 seat this December.

District 4 encompasses the southwest quadrant of Downey, roughly south of Firestone Boulevard and west of Brookshire Avenue.

Kiefer, who is endorsed by Guerra, owns his own printing business and is chairman of the Downey Planning Commission.

Along with Councilman Alex Saab and realtor Lourdes Cotaya, Kiefer was co-chair of the “No on Measure B” committee that helped defeat the controversial charter amendment earlier this year.

“One of the things that makes Downey different is that we have our own school district, police department, and fire department,” said Kiefer. “I realize we pay extra to have these things but I, and I think many other residents, think it’s worth it.”

Ashton is a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is also a member of Downey’s Green Task Force, appointed by Councilman Roger Brossmer.

According to a statement filed with the city clerk’s office, Ashton and his wife purchased a Downey home in 2000.

“When we were looking for our home, we weren’t sure if we would be able to find the right home, in a nice community, with excellent schools for our children,” Ashton wrote. “When we found our house in the heart of District 2, we knew we were home.”

“As a council member, the community and safety of our residents will always come first,” he continued. “If elected, I would prioritize improving the condition of our streets, keep Downey police and fire departments, and always support the services that Downey residents and businesses deserve.”

A-Malek is not a newcomer to local politics. She ran for the District 5 city-wide seat in 2008, coming in third place behind Gary DeRemer and winner Luis Marquez.

Her campaign this time around will focus on social programs.

“I studied theology and I believe that religions, churches and good educations positively affect our lives,” A-Malek wrote in her candidates statement. “Therefore, I will support churches and schools to have after-school programs to help prevent violence, crime and teenage pregnancies utilizing the great abilities of our retirees.”

A-Malek, who has practiced medicine for 30 years and twice served as chief of medical staff at two hospitals, also said she would “push for building a live-in senior community to provide security, entertainments, social, religious and physical activities in a dignified atmosphere.”

Mayor Fernando Vasquez is running unopposed in District 4 (northeast Downey).

“Although we have obtained many accomplishments since 2010, I’m asking for your support to continue building upon the last four years,” Vasquez said. “I’m convinced Downey’s best years are ahead of us, and to make that happen I need your…support to continue making Downey a city to live, work and thrive.”

 

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Published: Aug. 14, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 18



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