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Holden Finishes Third in Own District

April 22, 1993|JAMES RAINEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Twenty-two people have been knocked out of the Los Angeles mayor's race, but one--City Councilman Nate Holden--was a double loser in the primary election.

Holden not only finished seventh and far out of the money in a field of 24 candidates for mayor but, when a vote analysis was completed Wednesday, it revealed that he had finished a weak third even in his own district.

It was quite a comedown for the man who nearly pushed Mayor Tom Bradley into a runoff election four years ago.

One rival said he now has hopes of successfully challenging Holden when he comes up for reelection in 1995. Holden did not want to talk about it Wednesday. "This is the day after one of the worst nights of my life," he told a reporter. "I think I ought to just rest for a few days and not think about politics."

A Holden spokeswoman blamed his poor showing on what she said is a false impression that he was a supporter of former Police Chief Daryl F. Gates. She quoted Holden as saying: "More than anything it was (voters') misunderstanding of the Gates issue."

In Council District 10, which stretches from Palms to Koreatown and South Los Angeles--Councilman Michael Woo was the top mayoral contender, with 43% of the vote. Lawyer Stanley Sanders finished second, with 15%. Holden had 12%, just 2% ahead of multimillionaire lawyer-businessman Richard Riordan.

"I beat Holden in the 10th!" exclaimed Sanders, who lives in the district. "I beat him by about 600 votes. That is pretty good."

When asked if he is thinking of taking Holden on in two years, he said, "Yes. I sure am."

"I care about this city and that would be one way of taking a position of leadership," Sanders said. "I'm not going to withdraw into the cocoon of my law practice. I'm going to stay on the cutting edge of the politics and leadership of this community."

The former Rhodes scholar said his overall sixth-place finish, accomplished despite a lack of funds and a late start, had him thinking of other political offices, too--perhaps state superintendent of public instruction or even lieutenant governor.

Sanders said he has been talking to advisers about which direction to turn. One thing is certain, he said--he will get into his next political campaign early enough to raise money and push his name before the public.

Besides the Gates issue, which hurt him among many African-American voters, Holden has been dogged for months by allegations that he sexually harassed three of his female employees. He has vigorously denied the allegations.

He has fought back from difficult positions before. "Some of his problems still remain to be played out," said one political consultant, who was neutral in the mayor's race. "But the book is not closed on him by any means."

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