Before John Lee and Loraine Lundquist headed for a runoff election for the District 12 seat on the Los Angeles City Council, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association hosted a forum for candidates looking fill the position on May 7. The seat opened up when former Councilmember Mitchell Englander resigned to pursue a career with the Los Angeles-based Oak View Group, a global sports and entertainment advisory company, as a lobbyist. The special election took place June 4; a runoff election is scheduled for Aug. 13. Lee, a Republican, was chief of staff to Englander. He also held roles as field deputy and chief legislative deputy to other councilmen. The Democratic challenger, Lundquist, is a faculty associate at the Institute for Sustainability at California State University – Northridge. Englander represented the West San Fernando Valley from 2011 to the end of last year. Greig Smith, former city councilmember, was appointed to take his place until special election results could determine a successor. District 12 represents Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge, Porter Ranch, West Hills, Sherwood Forest, and parts of North Hills and Reseda. Other candidates for the Valley’s Council District 12 included: Scott Abrams, Carlos Amador, Jay Beeber, Annie Cho, Jeffery Daar, Charles Dinse, Frank Ferry, Jack Kayajian, Stella Maloyan, Raji Rab, Brandon Saario, Navraj Singh and Joshua Yeager. Eleven of the 15 candidates attended the forum, the bar association said, although all 15 were invited to attend. The event, held at the bar association’s new office at 20750 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, gave the public and candidates the opportunity to meet in person and discuss issues of interest to the legal community. Candidates weighed in on the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas blowout and issues related to homelessness, including the lack of homeless shelters in an affluent area. The bar association does not participate in partisan politics, including recommending or endorsing a candidate for political or judicial office. Sponsors for the panel included the San Fernando Valley Bar Association – Attorney Referral Service; Kyle Ellis; and Matthew Breddan, shareholder at the Reape-Rickett Law Firm.