Carson Mayoral Election, March 2001

Study Guide (revised, 10/26/04, 4pm.)


(3:25 class, see bottom for chapter 11 and chapter 15)

Click blue links you wish to use


A.     On Tuesday, March 6th 2001, there was a city election in the city of Carson.  The candidates for mayor and two city council members were the only items on the ballot.  Of those candidates, there were three incumbents.  Incumbents are people who currently hold office and are most likely to be reelected.  Honorable Peter Fajardo was the incumbent for mayor, but he dropped out due to a pending trial involving parole violation.  Honorable Daryl Sweeney and Honorable Kay Calas were the incumbents for two seats on the city council in the city of Carson.  Sweeney decided not to run for reelection on the council, leaving a guaranteed open seat to be filled by the election for two councilmembers.  Instead, Sweeney chose to run in the 4th  mayoral race in the city of Carson.  The candidates for mayor were not WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), displaying the cultural and ethnic diversity of which the city of Carson is proud.  There were two African-Americans, two Philippino-Americans, and two Japanese-Americans.  Sweeney was one of the two African-American candidates.  He was also, by far, the youngest candidate and the only candidate serving on the council during the campaign.


A1.   On what level of government was the election?

A2.   What is an incumbent?

A3.   Who was the incumbent for mayor?

A4.   Who were the two incumbents for city council?

A5.   Which of them ran for mayor?

A6.   By running for mayor, what was guaranteed among the council seats?

A7.   How many mayoral races have there been in Carson?

A8.   What does WASP stand for?

A9.   How many mayoral candidates were WASPs?

A10.  How many minorities?



B.         Of the candidates, there was one woman, Honorable Helen Kawagoe, who had what is called a “free ride.”  She had been the city clerk for the city of Carson since its incorporation and was not up for reelection until 2003.  If she lost, she would continue to hold her position as city clerk.  If she won, she would become mayor.  She would always be hold one elective office or the other.  It was a “no-lose situation.”


B1.  How many of mayoral candidates were women?

B2.  What was her position in Carson?

B3.  What happens to a candidate with a “free ride” if the candidate loses the election?



C.        The election process in Carson was changed.  Previously, councilmembers were elected and by a vote of the council, a mayor was selected from among the five.  This arrangement is typical for medium-sized and small cities.  Now, the city of Carson elects its mayor and the members of its council.  The relation is vague in terms of which has more power.  The mayor of Carson serves as a member of the council, and is given the privilege of appointing more government officials than the other four on the council.  The mayor also conducts the council meetings.


C1.  What was the process for elections before the change? How was the council elected? Was the mayor elected?

C2.  Is the mayor any higher authoritatively than the rest of the council?  If so, in what ways?



D.        Like most city elections, the elections in Carson are nonpartisan.  That means that the political parties of each candidate are not listed on the ballot and are not a determining factor on who runs, wins, or loses.  It is possible for ballots to be filled with all Democratic candidates.  Winners are not required to receive a majority of the votes cast for the office.  In Carson, the elections are won by a plurality decision; the winner has the most votes, but may have less than 50% of the votes.   Because of the plurality rule, Carson only has one election.  There are no run-off elections for the two candidates with the most votes cast.  The plurality decision rule means the “sudden death” of all candidates except the one with a plurality.


D1.  Is it a partisan election?

D2.  What is meant by nonpartisan?

D3.  What is the deciding rule for elections in Carson?

D4.  Define plurality.



E.         The city council in Carson does not just occupy one branch of government. Since there is no distinct difference between the council and the mayor, the council, including the mayor, serves as the legislative and executive branches of the city government.  It serves as both the policymaker and the chief enforcer.   By Sweeney deciding to run for mayor after serving one term on the city council, he would not be changing his position in the branches of government.


E1.  The city council serves under which branch(es) of government?

E2.  What are the two roles the council plays in city government?

E3.  How many terms had Sweeney previously served on the council?

E4.  Did Sweeney decide to switch branches by running for mayor?



F.Sweeney won the race for mayor with 43.1% of the vote with a total election voter turnout of 33.9% of the registered voters in Carson.  This was the largest voter turnout for the city of Carson.  As councilmembers, Sweeney and Honorable Raunda Frank made it their goal to get more registered voters and more of the registered to vote.  Their efforts were evident in the outcome of this election.  Sweeney was the first elected African-American mayor for the city of Carson.  Michael Mitoma, one of the candidates for mayor but not the incumbent, was the first elected mayor.


F1.  What percentage of the votes did Sweeney receive?

F2.  What was the voter turnout?

F3.  Which councilmembers pushed people to register to vote and to vote on election day?

F4.  After his win, Sweeney was the first to hold what position?

F5.  Who was the first elected mayor of Carson?




3:25 RESEARCH (25 points toward A, B, C)

Last revised Oct. 26, 2004, 4:00 p.m.


To be written in blue or black ink on one notebook paper IN CLASS ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2O04 along with the online chapter 11 exam (see green items below).  Your goal is to show off your knowledge based on your preparation.  No notes allowed. CHOOSE ONLY #1, 2, 3, or 4 BELOW TO write as much as possible






1) Predicting the California election results for 6 Presidential candidates plus one write-in


2) City of Carson research


A)    Carson Study Guide—see above


B) City of Carson


B1) There are presently four members including the mayor who sit on the Carson City Council plus one vacancy which will be filled from the November 2, 2004, election from these eleven candidates.


B2) Carson crime is part of the economic development “Carson Fact Sheet” (scroll down)


C) Carson demographics:  sex, age, race, ethnicity from the 2000 U.S. Census


D) Carson Candidates appearing at LAHC 10/21/04 with websites, if available, + sites you



Steve Mozena:




Rita Boggs:


E) Campaign communications including handouts, mailers, slate cards, posters, billboards,

      telephone calls


F) Endorsements from incumbents and others


G) Newspapers



3) Any one (or two  for 1A + 65 or 60+62 or 68+70) November 2, 2004

state proposition or L.A. County Measure A or any Municipal Proposition (including O in City of Los Angeles, G in City of Gardena, T in City of Torrance.)  Please be careful to follow each lettered guideline below.


                        a) Describe the present situation (this would continue if a majority of

                            the voters  choose “NO”

                        b) Describe the change that will occur if a majority of the voters

                            choose “YES”

                        c) Arguments of those urging a YES vote

                        d) Arguments of those urging a NO vote

                        e) Parties, interest groups, media and incumbents and other

                             individuals urging a YES vote

                        f)  Parties, interest groups, media and incumbents and other

                             individuals urging a NO vote

                        g) Your prediction of the November 2 outcome (and your preference

                             if you wish to give it)

                        h) Your memory of campaign materials—mailers, slate cards, posters,

                             billboards, television images and words, telephone calls . . . .


Use these websites or links directly from them—DON’T USE SEARCH ENGINES


Start here:

Then go here:

If you have more time:

If you have even more time



4) Describe your relationship, based on interest, activity, thought or knowledge with the November, 2004 election, including your communications with others people about the any aspect of what you thought, saw, heard or did in connection with any aspect of the election.



Chapter 11 exam study                                     Chapter 15 exam study

1) Any mention of pres. by name         First:

a) limits on the president                      General Foreign Policy

b) powers of the president                    Study Guide—click here

2) Foreign policy—click here              Second:

3) Bureaucracy (cabinet and EOP)     Clickable President’s

—click here   ---practice here         photos with facts—click here