West San Fernando Valley Councilman Hal Bernson Thursday became the first Los Angeles City Council member to endorse fellow Councilman John Ferraro for mayor.
The endorsement came as no surprise because Ferraro is relying on conservative Valley residents such as Bernson to help him defeat Democratic Mayor Tom Bradley in the April 9 election.
U.S. Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Chatsworth) and state Assembly Minority Leader Pat Nolan (R-Glendale) also said in an interview Thursday that they support Ferraro, who represents the Wilshire district. They are expected to announce their decision today at a news conference.
All Oppose Metro Rail
Bernson, Fiedler and Ferraro all oppose the proposed downtown-to-North Hollywood Metro Rail project, which is backed by Bradley.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday in Northridge, Bernson repeated criticisms of City Hall frequently made by San Fernando Valley politicians.
"The Valley has been neglected over the years, and it still is under-served in proportion to the taxes it pays," Bernson said, contending that Bradley is partly responsible for the inequity.
Bernson belittled a Wednesday night fund-raiser for Bradley at the Warner Center as "too little . . . too late" to woo Valley voters.
Among those at the $150-a-plate, western-style fund-raiser, which drew about 500 supporters, was H.F. (Bert) Boeckmann, a major contributor to Republican candidates, including Bernson. Boeckmann, appointed by Bradley to serve on the city's Police Commission, supports the mayor for reelection.
Of the Valley's other council members, the West Valley's Joy Picus and Joel Wachs, who represents Studio City, Sherman Oaks and part of North Hollywood, support Bradley. Howard Finn of the northeast Valley and Ernani Bernardi of the middle Valley are staying out of the race, citing their friendships with both candidates.
South Valley Councilman Marvin Braude has yet to take a stand.