By David Mark Simpson, Santa Monica Daily Press
MAIN LIBRARY — Education and affordable housing were the leading topics in a Santa Monica Democrats Club debate to fill the State Senate seat of Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica), who is currently running for Congress.
Ben Allen won the club’s endorsement by a landslide, taking 71 percent of the vote. Sandra Fluke and Betsy Butler tied for second, each receiving 14 percent. Vito Imbasciani received one percent.
Five candidates and a campaign manager squared off, taking a few minutes to introduce themselves and then answering questions from the club and audience.
Allen is a Board of Education member at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. He’s a graduate of Santa Monica High School and the only Democratic candidate born and raised in the city.
In his introduction, Allen highlighted his work in education and said he is passionate about the environment, affordable housing, and — the magic word — development issues.
“I’ve stood with so many of you on over-development issues in Santa Monica,” he said, speaking rapidly before an audience of more than 50.