As the campaign for the 5th District City Council seat entered its final week, candidates Mike Feuer and Barbara Yaroslavsky picked up key endorsements Friday from longtime San Fernando Valley council members.
Councilman Marvin Braude announced his support for Feuer, the former head of a free legal clinic, while Councilman Hal Bernson endorsed Yaroslavsky, a community activist and wife of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a former councilman.
Braude, chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, said he interviewed all the candidates and found Feuer to have "wisdom and compassion."
"He is clearly the most qualified person to run for the City Council," he said.
Feuer, who was also endorsed this week by the politically influential Sierra Club, said Braude's support indicates that his candidacy is gaining momentum as the race moves toward the April 11 primary.
Meanwhile, Bernson, who himself is seeking reelection, said Friday he is supporting Yaroslavsky because of his longtime relationship with the candidate and Zev Yaroslavsky. "I think I can work well with her," he said.
Braude and Bernson are not the only incumbents to take a position on the race to fill a seat left vacant when Zev Yaroslavsky resigned after 19 years on the council to become a county supervisor.
Council members Richard Alarcon and Jackie Goldberg have endorsed former school board member Roberta Weintraub, while Councilman Mike Hernandez, Mayor Richard Riordan and city Controller Rick Tuttle have endorsed Yaroslavsky.
The fourth candidate, Jeff Brain, a Sherman Oaks businessman, has not been endorsed by any city official but has the backing of Republican stalwarts such as Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Assemblywoman Paula Boland (R-Granada Hills) and state Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley).
In the funding-raising race, Yaroslavsky continues to lead the pack with $360,700, according to campaign statements for the period ending March 25. In the past month, she has raised $53,700, mostly from attorneys, developers, large corporations, homemakers and retired residents, according to the statement.
Feuer is in second place with $299,000--$22,400 of which was raised in the past month and $100,000 from matching funds provided by the city, according to the statement. Most of the money raised in the past month came from attorneys and other professionals, the statement said.
Weintraub has raised $274,200, with $42,500 coming in during the past month, according to her statement. She has accepted $87,066 in matching funds. Most of the money she raised in the past month came from lawyers, realtors, educators, doctors and homemakers, the statement said.
Brain came in last with $41,500, $4,500 of which was raised in the past month. Although Brain has applied for matching funds, he is not expected to receive the money until next week, he said.
The 5th District includes parts of Van Nuys, Studio City and the communities of Sherman Oaks, Westwood, Brentwood and the Fairfax area. If no candidate wins over 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held June 6 for the top two vote-getters.