Twice-recalled Fullerton councilman to run for election again
One of the Fullerton City Council members ousted in the spring recall election that came in the wake of anger sparked by the police beating death of Kelly Thomas will try to reclaim his seat in the November election.
It marks the second time that Don Bankhead, a retired police captain and former mayor, has tried to make a political comeback after being bounced from office.
Bankhead filed papers Wednesday with the Fullerton city clerk declaring his intention to reclaim his post on the council.
"You elected me to the City Council because you trusted me to do what is in the best interest of Fullerton," Bankhead wrote in the filing. "You can still count on me to do everything possible to keep our great city safe and economically strong."
Bankhead was previously removed from office in 1994 and then returned months later after being being elected again.
Twelve candidates have filed the paperwork necessary to appear on the November ballot in Fullerton. Two of them are incumbents: Bruce Whitaker, who survived the recall with the support of those who organized the effort, and Travis Kiger, who joined the council in June as a result of the recall election.
In his statement, Whitaker said there was plenty of work left to be done: "Events of the past year and a half [have] awakened Fullertonians to the constant need for responsive, competent, ethical and accountable leadership in city government."
According to city clerk filings, the other candidates include: Barry Levinson, an auditor and parks commissioner; Vivian "Kitty" Jaramillo, a retired preservation inspector; Matthew Hakim, a musician and artist; Jane Rands, a systems engineer; Jennifer Fitzgerald, a local business owner; Rick Alvarez, a business owner and planning commissioner; Jan Flory, a family law attorney; Roberta Reid, a retiree; and Brian Bartholomew, a small-business owner.
Thomas, a homeless man who was a familiar figure in the city's downtown, died after being beaten by police. Two officers have been criminally charged in is death, which gave rise to angry protests and political upheaval in Fullerton.
-- Rick Rojas
Photo: Don Bankhead. Credit: Los Angeles Times