West Hollywood's campaign season officially begins today, with a nomination period for City Council candidates that lasts through December 10. Apparently, you don't need millions of dollars to get your name on the ballot.

According to official guidelines, you must be a West Hollywood resident and registered voter, be 18 years old or older, and gather between 20 and 20 signatures from other registered voters who live in West Hollywood. Sounds like a snap!

Then you can sling mud, pontificate, and hug babies for weeks on end in one of the more interesting election contests the small, 1.9-square-mile city has seen in years.

Long-time incumbents John Heilman and Abbe Land are up for re-election and have taken heat from various folks in West Hollywood for their pro-development stances, among other things.

Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath, meanwhile, will be waging her first campaign. Heilman and Land personally pushed for Horvath's successful appointment to the City Council in 2009 — she was never elected by voters.

Not only will over-development in West Hollywood be a major campaign issue, but it appears that crime will now figure into the race.

As we just reported, West Hollywood has gone through a major crime wave in the past few months, which includes a grisly triple homicide and at least 20 robberies in 30 days.

West Hollywood community activists spoke out about their problems with Heilman and Land, who were described as “entrenched elites,” in an L.A. Weekly cover story titled “West Follywood: How a progressive town founded on renters' rights and diversity ended up gridlocked, angry and elitist.”

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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