Long Beach’s 5th City Council district gained its third candidate in just over a week Thursday after local political consultant Ian Patton announced he would run for the East Long Beach district.

Patton joins LBSUD board member Megan Kerr and former Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines as candidates for the seat.

The incumbent, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan and all other declared candidates were rendered ineligible to run after new district maps were finalized in November.

In an interview Thursday, Patton said that fighting density would be the number one issue for him if he’s elected to the city council. The new 5th District includes many predominantly single-family zoned neighborhoods on either side of Long Beach Airport, and residents from those communities have railed against the idea of introducing denser home developments into their neighborhoods.

Issues around airport noise, homelessness and public safety would also be key points during his campaign, Patton said. Patton rebuffed the notion that he’s an adversary of City Hall, saying instead that he’s an advocate for normal people.

“I’m sure a lot of people see me that way,” Patton said. “But I see myself as an advocate for the residents of this city who often come last.”

While Patton’s email announcing his entering the race was sent through his consultancy firm’s address, Patton said that he would not be running his own campaign.

Patton has managed a number of campaigns in recent years including the City Council runs of Robert Fox and Juan Ovalle in 2020 as well as an attempt to recall former City Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce in 2017.

The Long Beach Reform Coalition, of which Patton is executive director, recently challenged the permanent passage of Measure A in 2020, which was approved by a margin of 16 votes.

A Los Angeles County judge ultimately ruled against the coalition in August, stating that county election officials did not have to pay for the costs associated with tracking down physical ballots to do a manual recount.

Putting Measure A back on the ballot for voters to decide, again, would be another one of Patton’s priorities.

“The economic recovery for small businesses is connected to Measure A,” Patton said. “We have growing inflation and Measure A is only exacerbating that. I would work to convince my colleagues to put it back on the ballot.”

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.