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ELECTIONS / L.A. CITY COUNCIL : Runoff Foes Offer Stark Differences : Politics: In District 13, former school board member Jackie Goldberg and longtime City Council aide Tom LaBonge will compete. In District 1, Councilman Mike Hernandez easily wins a full four-year term.


NORTHEAST LOS ANGELES — After all the clamor about change, all the talk about bringing new faces and voices to Los Angeles government, voters in the wide-open race for the 13th Council District seat surveyed a diverse field of candidates and opted Tuesday for the two contenders who had the most time in government and ran the costliest campaigns.

Now, as they head for a June 8 runoff election, former school board member Jackie Goldberg and longtime City Council aide Tom LaBonge present 13th District voters with stark options.

In style and substance, Goldberg represents a return to '60s-style activism. She also will be seeking to become the council's first openly homosexual member.

LaBonge symbolizes the sort of old-time, roll-up-your-sleeves candidate more likely to be found in a Brooklyn burrough than a Los Angeles district that includes Hollywood.

The two placed well ahead of six other contenders for the seat Michael Woo vacated to run for mayor; unofficial final results in Tuesday's election showed Goldberg with 35% of the vote and LaBonge with 31%.

In order of finish, the other candidates were Tom Riley, a former aide in U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's campaign; AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein; businesswoman and community activist Virginia Stock Johannessen; television executive Conrado Terrazas; executive marketing consultant Gilbert Carrasco, and health care consultant Sal Genovese.

The district extends from Hollywood east to Glassell Park and includes the communities of Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Eagle Rock.

In the 1st District, which includes neighborhoods in the Mount Washington and Glassell Park areas, Councilman Mike Hernandez swamped two challengers to win a full four-year term. Hernandez was elected to the council two years ago to fill the seat Gloria Molina gave up for her successful bid for the County Board of Supervisors.

In the 13th District race, spending by the eight candidates approached $1 million. LaBonge spent almost $300,000 on his primary campaign, while Goldberg managed to raise and spend more than $200,000 despite refusing to take contributions from development interests.

The prospect of becoming the council's first lesbian member was not lost on Goldberg election night, but it was hardly the only thing on her mind.

"Absolutely . . . that's a part of this race. It's an important part, but I won't say it's the most important part," a jubilant Goldberg said in an interview as her supporters cheered election returns.

"The most important part of this race is making sure that everybody--lesbian and gay, black and brown, Asian-Pacific and Anglo, young and old . . . feel like this city is about them and not about some special groups of interest that can buy and sell what goes on in City Hall."

LaBonge, in contrast, said his candidacy gives voters an opportunity to elect a proven public servant with 17 years of experience as an aide to Council President John Ferraro and a reputation as a hard worker at City Hall.

"We got our message out and we will continue to get our message out . . . that Tom LaBonge is somebody who gets things done for neighborhoods, who makes neighborhoods better, who brings people together," LaBonge said.

The one-two finish for Goldberg and LaBonge did not surprise either candidate or political observers. As they move into a runoff election, Goldberg and LaBonge can be expected to emphasize themes high on the minds of voters: crime and jobs. The topics have repeatedly been raised by voters in the ethnically diverse district, which, according to Census figures, is 57% Latino, 21% Anglo, 19% Asian and 3% black.

As a teacher and parent, Goldberg, 48, has focused much of her campaign on reducing crime and increasing jobs through education programs and projects that train and employ young people. Her proposals include a mentor project for junior high school students and a private-sector jobs program for 18- to 25-year-olds patterned after a successful Boston project.

LaBonge, 39, has called for reassigning 180 traffic officers to patrol duty at the city's police stations. And to spur the district's economy, LaBonge's plans include revitalizing some of its major streets--Sunset, Hollywood and Glendale boulevards--to encourage new investment and provide more jobs.

In the 1st District race, Hernandez coasted to victory against two opponents who lacked the money and broad-based support for an effective challenge. His challengers were Esther Castillo Long, a retired aide to Mayor Tom Bradley, and businessman Jean Marie-Durand.

Hernandez had collected a host of endorsements and $150,000 in contributions--more than 10 times the total of both opponents. In campaigning, he stressed the need for continuity in leadership.

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