"They're interested in what our plans to win are," he said. "So we've had a number of discussions about strategic and tactical issues. That's all I can say."
Eric Bauman, a Hahn supporter who heads the county Democratic Party, said a Waters endorsement would be "seismic." He described her political operation as "unmatched by anybody in the South Los Angeles area."
"If Maxine endorsed Antonio, it would be an extraordinary turn of events among the African American community leadership," he said.
In the 2001 runoff, Hahn, backed by most of the city's black leadership, won 80% of the black vote. But in the election this month, his support among blacks nearly collapsed: Just 23% cast ballots for him, according to a Times exit poll.
Parks, who won 54% of the black vote in the March 8 election, has also been wooed by Hahn and Villaraigosa. The mayor's support for ousting him as Los Angeles police chief in 2002 has raised expectations that Parks will back Villaraigosa.
"I've spoken to Councilman Parks since the election," Hahn told reporters at the school, "and we're going to set up a meeting to talk."
But Parks appeared with Villaraigosa on Wednesday at City Hall, where other council members accused Hahn of ignoring security concerns at Los Angeles International Airport. Standing next to Villaraigosa, Parks declined -- with a grin -- to say whom he would support for mayor.
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and challenger Antonio Villaraigosa are competing for endorsements that they hope will help them sway blocs of voters in the May 17 runoff.
L.A. County Federation of Labor: Hahn
L.A. County Democratic Party: Villaraigosa
Supervisor Gloria Molina: Villaraigosa
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke: Villaraigosa
Ex-mayoral candidate Richard Alarcon: Villaraigosa
Ex-mayoral candidate Bernard C. Parks: Has not backed a candidate
Ex-mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg: Has not backed a candidate
Source: Times reports
Times staff writer Jessica Garrison contributed to this report.