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Feuer Considers Run for Assembly

Politics: The former council member who lost race for city attorney says he may move to the Valley to position himself for a 2002 bid.

July 14, 2001|PATRICK McGREEVY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mike Feuer, who lost the election for Los Angeles city attorney last month, said Friday that he is considering a move to the San Fernando Valley to run for the state Assembly.

The former City Council member is focusing on the seat held by Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks), who will be forced out of office by term limits in 2002.

Feuer would face Hertzberg's handpicked successor, Andrei Cherny, who served the past two years as a senior policy advisor to the speaker.

Previously, Cherny was a senior speech writer for Vice President Al Gore.

"It would be a tough race. There is no slam dunk there," said political scientist Larry Berg, a founding director of USC's Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics.

Cherny, 25, said he has raised more than $100,000 toward the March 5 primary run for the 40th Assembly District seat. The district includes parts of Van Nuys, Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Winnetka.

Stuart Waldman, 32, resigned as a Hertzberg aide in February to begin campaigning for the seat. He loaned his committee $100,000 to get the effort off the ground.

Lloyd Levine, a legislative director for Assemblyman John Longville (D-Rialto), has also entered the race. Levine, 32, grew up in the Valley but has spent the past five years in Sacramento, according to his father, Valley political consultant Larry Levine.

Feuer, a 43-year-old Westside resident who raised $656,000 in his quest to become city attorney, said a run for Assembly is one of several options he is considering, terming it very attractive.

"I just love public service," he said. "The idea of being able to continue to legislate and focus on kids and public safety and school reform is very intriguing. The fact that half of my council district overlaps the Assembly district means I'm very familiar with the issues."

Feuer, whose former council district extended from Westwood to Valley Glen, said several supporters have urged him to run. He lost in the June 5 race for city attorney to former Deputy Mayor Rocky Delgadillo. Feuer received 47.6% of the vote to Delgadillo's 52.3%

Feuer and Cherny earned undergraduate degrees from Harvard. Feuer also earned a law degree from the school.

Cherny, who grew up in North Hollywood and lives in Van Nuys, acknowledged Friday that Feuer would be a challenging opponent, but said the former councilman would also be vulnerable because he would have to move into the district.

"Certainly he is someone everyone knows and has an opinion on. He comes in with large name ID," Cherny said. "But the fact is that it is a Valley seat and it's tough to move in and be a candidate when you are not from the Valley."

Cherny has been endorsed by Studio City attorney David Fleming and J. Richard Leyner, chairman of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley.

"I have had a chance to have some experience and some ideas and I'd like to give back to the community," Cherny said. "I love the Valley, and I believe there are a lot of things we need to do to make it better."

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