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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Business group backs Villaraigosa

August 21, 2008|Phil Willon

After endorsing Jim Hahn for mayor in 2001 and 2005, the Central City Assn. has decided to come out early and back incumbent Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his 2009 reelection bid.

"We think he has brought new energy to the city," said Carol Schatz, president of the business advocacy group whose members include some major Hollywood studios. "He has been able to bring some transportation dollars here. He supports the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles."

Thus far, Villaraigosa faces no major opposition.

Billionaire shopping mall developer Rick Caruso has expressed interest in running and said he will announce his decision by early fall. Villaraigosa's biggest opponent so far is Walter Moore, a lawyer from Westchester, who finished sixth in the 2005 mayoral race.

-- Phil Willon

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