Obagi recall group reaches signature count in Redondo

District Four Redondo Beach city councilman Zein Obagi, Jr., speaking at an event earlier this year, faces an intent for recall ten months after taking office. Photo by Wayne Craig.

Proponents of the effort to recall city councilman Zein Obagi, Jr., turned in 2,778 signatures to the city clerk’s office Wednesday morning – over the needed threshold of 2,402 to put it on the ballot. 

The signatures will now be reviewed by the county. If enough are verified, Obagi would face a challenger in November.

Wednesday concluded a 90-day period in which petitioners needed to gather a minimum of 25 percent of the district’s registered voters to take it to the ballot.

“We may have just pulled out a miracle of all miracles. I’m cautiously optimistic,” said supporter Elliott Lewis.

Los Angeles County has 30 days to verify the signatures. 

To keep his seat on the council, Obagi, Jr. – who was elected in March 2021 – would need to run against any challengers in an open election. 

Petitioners have faulted Obagi for his support of a housing element that would put much of the city’s state-required affordable housing in his district, and for his vote to keep homeless pallet shelters all in District Four. 

Proponents also question Obagi for charges, by the State Bar, of professional misconduct in his law practice. 

Obagi has countered that “cannabis dealers,” referring to Lewis, have funded the effort to punish the city for not choosing his ordinance to allow retail cannabis in Redondo Beach, instead writing their own. Obagi says that the recall effort misrepresents the facts of the State Bar case. ER

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