Councilman Steven Neal
Steven Neal wins Long Beach City Council seat After losing in 2006, he easily wins 9th District with 52.3 percent of the vote
By Evan BarnesSentinel Sports EditorIt's been over a week and incoming Long Beach City Councilman Steven Neal still has a hard time believing that he's in his new position.Neal won the election on April 13 for the 9th District City Council seat with 52.3% of the vote. It was a turnaround from a narrow defeat to incumbent Councilmember Val Lerch in 2006 as Lerch finished second with 26.1%.The 49-year-old Neal, who was previously the director of labor and community services for the United Way, attributed his victory to his consultant Steve Belhumeur and the support from organized labor."[Belhumeur] put together an excellent field strategy," Neal said of the man who helped run Steve Bradford's successful campaign for the State Assembly and Inglewood City Councilmember Daniel Tabor's current mayoral campaign.Behind a clean campaign, Neal avenged his loss four years ago by building off the support of community leaders, business owners and clergy. 79% of those who voted for him were either White or Latino.""2006 showed the desire of North Long Beach voters for new representation that will consider their needs and that message came through loud and clear in this year's election," he said.He anticipates working with Lerch to ensure a smooth transition as well as his two opponents in the race to build a successful 9th District."I know that all of us love this community and want the 9th District and Long Beach to prosper," Neal said.