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Parks Announces Council Bid

Politics: The former LAPD chief begins his campaign for the 8th District seat. Magic Johnson pledges his support.

June 18, 2002|From a Times Staff Writer

Former Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks on Monday formally announced that he is running for the 8th Council District seat, kicking off his campaign in the lobby of the Magic Johnson Theatres at the Crenshaw Shopping Plaza.

Joined by Johnson, Parks said he is ready for a career in politics.

"People have asked me, particularly the media, 'How are you going to adjust to the 14 council people?' And I've always answered that question with: 'How are they going to adjust to Bernard Parks?' " he said.

Johnson said he will support the Parks campaign. The Laker-turned-businessman also said he is not planning to run for mayor--despite reports to the contrary. But he said he would support Parks for the job if he decides to run against Hahn in two years.

"He's a strong, tall man who holds his head up high," Johnson said of Parks. "We need a leader like that now, who doesn't compromise. He can't be bought off."

Parks announced his retirement from the LAPD in April, after 37 years of service, after the Police Commission's denial of his request for a second five-year contract. A majority of the City Council supported the commission's decision.

The 58-year-old former chief filed papers with the city's Ethics Commission on May 29, allowing him to set up a campaign committee and start raising funds for the City Council election next March.

So far, eight others have filed papers to run in the 8th District, which covers parts of south and southwest Los Angeles. They are Assemblyman Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles), Robert Cole, Sherri L. Franklin, Kevin D. Melton, Karen Bass, Earnest T. Hamilton Jr., Sandra Noble and Sylvialynn Hawkins.

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