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Mayor Vows to Revive Troubled Parks

Politics: He pledges to have one fixed every two weeks until he leaves office. In race to replace him, Hahn also addresses congregation in South-Central.

December 18, 2000|JIM NEWTON and JAMES RAINEY | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, State Controller Kathleen Connell, businessman Steve Soboroff, City Councilman Joel Wachs and former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa are the other major candidates in the mayor's race. The election is scheduled for April, with a runoff set for June if no candidate receives a majority in the first round.

At Second Baptist on Sunday, Hahn listened as senior pastor Epps disdained the vote counting process and the outcome of the presidential election. Another of the church's ministers lashed out at the "rush to crown a new president."

It was a theme that Hahn, who supported Vice President Al Gore, was ready to amplify.

"A lot of gifts are being given this time of year. The governor of Texas just got a great gift," Hahn said to a roar of laughter and applause. "As you know, that comes with an obligation. We are going to be praying for our president elect."

And though Hahn never specifically mentioned his candidacy for mayor, he did not miss the chance to remind members of the congregation that the breathtakingly close presidential race offered powerful evidence of the importance of voting.

"The question we have before us is, are we going to let that discourage us," Hahn said. "Or are we going to stand up and say, 'You know what, I am going to make sure I vote. I am going to make sure that chad has been detached. . . . I am going to make sure that my vote is counted and I am going to make sure that those who are elected are responsible to me.' "

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