Read the latest L.A. Weekly news story about WeHo's hotly contested City Council race: “West Hollywood Incumbents Dig In.”

West Hollywood City Council candidate Lucas John, a 28-year-old public relations consultant and co-founder of the gay gossip site WeHo Confidential, says he has a trick up his sleeve.

“If social media is the verdict on who wins the election,” he tells the Weekly, “I'll win.”

Creatively engaging West Hollywood residents is just one thing he plans to do if elected on March 8.

John jumped into the competitive race because of his frustration with a proposed outdoor smoking ban for West Hollywood's world famous bars, nightclubs, and restaurants — owners of those establishments have said it would hurt their bottom lines.

“These people,” says John, referring to longtime incumbents John Heilman and Abbe Land, who pushed for the ban, “are out of touch. It's a bar community that we get much of our revenue from.”

That unpopular anti-smoking ordinance has since been watered down, but John's dissatisfaction with Heilman, Land, and appointed City Council member Lindsey Horvath, who are running together this campaign season as a cash-rich slate, hasn't diminished.

“I loathe John Heilman and Abbe Land,” says John. “They care more about not selling kittens and dogs. It's silly. We have more important things to be concerned about, like helping small businesses.”

John, in fact, has proposed a ban on crystal meth pipes rather than a ban on selling fur in West Hollywood, saying crystal meth is a more devastating problem for the city's large gay population.

John's platform revolves around more transparency at City Hall, term limits for City Council members, neighborhood-appropriate development, and better engaging residents so they become interested stakeholders in West Hollywood.

John describes himself as the “underdog of the underdog” in this year's City Council race, in which six challengers are looking to unseat incumbents Heilman, Land, and Horvath.

“We're running our campaign from the grassroots, up,” says John.

In the coming days, John will unleash his big secret weapon to get voters out to the polls and vote for him on March 8.

NOTE: During the reporting for the L.A. Weekly cover story “Dethroning West Hollywood's Martinets,” we spent many hours with WeHo's City Council candidates — except for incumbents Heilman, Land, and Horvath, who refused to be interviewed in person or over the phone.

This week, we have been using previously unpublished material for a series of posts on each of the six challengers the Weekly met and talked with.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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