A Downtown businesswoman with ties to the mayor and City Hall announced Monday she will join a crowded field of candidates seeking to defeat Jeannine Pearce, the embattled incumbent who represents District 2 on the City Council.
Cindy Allen—who retired as a Long Beach police officer in 1998 and owned ETA Advertising until recently selling the business—will join seven others, including Pearce, hoping to represent the Downtown waterfront area and Alamitos Beach.
“I love Long Beach. I loved growing up in our city, and as a homeowner and longtime community leader, I know we can do so much more to make the Second District safer, build more affordable housing, and reduce homelessness,” Allen said in her announcement. “I am ready to bring people together and fight for our shared progressive values.”
The primary election is March 3.
Allen—who also served as publisher and owner of the Long Beach Post from 2013 to June 2018, when she sold the publication—had business clients at ETA that include several city departments. The sale of Allen’s business to Blume Media was announced Sept. 30.
Allen is the latest candidate to take on Pearce, who survived a recall effort and was censured by her colleagues in 2018 for her handling of a romantic relationship she had with her former chief of staff. More recently Pearce has dealt with allegations of conflict of interest after the Post reported in late May that the councilwoman was working for a principal at the company that operates the Queen Mary, which is in District 2.
Pearce must now recuse herself from any votes or communication about cannabis-related business, the Queen Mary and Urban Commons, which operates the historic ship.
To this point, Pearce’s stiffest competition has come from community activist and Realtor Robert Fox, who has hammered Pearce on changes the city made to the Broadway Corridor last spring. A poll obtained by the Post also showed Jeanette Barerra, a mental health provider running for the seat, is relatively popular among voters.
The same poll showed mixed results for Pearce: In a simulated head-to-head election between Pearce and Allen, the race becomes a toss-up, with Allen potentially performing about even at 28% compared to Pearce’s 29%, with 43% of voters initially undecided. The poll also revealed that after voters heard both positive and negative messages—Allen could potentially beat Pearce by eight points.
Allen worked as a vice officer, field training officer and gang investigator for the Long Beach Police Department before retiring due to an on-duty injury. In 2005 she founded ETA, which has done work for the Long Beach Water Department, Port of Long Beach, Public Works Department and Long Beach Transit—which are all city agencies.
Allen became publisher and owner of the Post in 2013, two years after the death of its co-founder, Shaun Lumachi. In June 2018, she sold the business to Pacific Community Media, a subsidiary of local development and investment group Pacific6. Since then, Allen has had no involvement in editorial or business decisions in the Post.
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