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EDITORIALS | TIMES ENDORSEMENT

For City Council

October 21, 2005

VOTERS IN THE 14th City Council District, just east and north of downtown, are lucky: They have choices worth considering. That puts them ahead of voters in the mid-city 10th Council District, where an anointed successor merely waits to be crowned.

The 14th District includes the Highland Park and Eagle Rock neighborhoods as well as Boyle Heights and other Eastside neighborhoods. It is solidly Latino and Democratic, with a smattering of artists and writers. It was most recently home to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who skipped a run for a second term on the City Council to run again for mayor. His heart never seemed fully in the district, and it needs someone who will give his all to the job.

The main candidates are Nick Pacheco, who represented the 14th for one term until Villaraigosa ousted him in 2003, and Jose Huizar, who is president of the Los Angeles Unified School District board. The Times endorses Huizar.

Pacheco, who touts his effectiveness in helping the district during his earlier term in office, glosses over the fact that he lost to Villaraigosa for reasons beyond personal charisma. He was accused of strong-arming lobbyists for contributions to a nonprofit "outreach" organization he set up in the district, for example, and was entangled in some particularly vicious campaign tactics against Villaraigosa.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday October 28, 2005 Home Edition California Part B Page 12 Editorial Pages Desk 0 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
City Council: An editorial Friday said Jose Huizar was president of the Los Angeles Board of Education. He stepped down from the presidency in July.

Huizar has served on the school board during a period of rising student scores in the troubled district, and he supported Supt. Roy Romer's largely successful districtwide school-building project. He has been a land-use attorney and has a background in urban planning, an important issue as Villaraigosa chooses the next city planner. And Huizar has the endorsements of 10 of the current 13 members of the City Council, an obvious advantage in working with them. (Council members' silence about their former colleague, Pacheco, has been telling.)

Both candidates support public transportation, particularly the Gold Line train extension to the Eastside. Both promise better constituent service. The question really is which candidate would work most effectively in the modern political culture of Los Angeles. We believe Jose Huizar is that candidate.

In the 10th City Council District, which straddles the Santa Monica Freeway, voters may not even know there is an election. Their previous representative, Martin Ludlow, quit after two years in office to head a labor organization. His certain successor is former Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, who has Villaraigosa's endorsement and no viable opponents. Wesson is expected to run for the seat of County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke in 2008, and he doesn't deny it. The district deserves better than another hasty exit. No endorsement.

*

On the Web: For other Times endorsements, see www.latimes.com/endorsements

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