The Times endorsed studio executive Christine Essel in the Sept. 22 special election to fill Los Angeles' 2nd District City Council seat. Essel was one of the two top finishers and is competing in Tuesday's runoff against Assemblyman Paul Krekorian; we continue to believe she is the best candidate, and we reiterate our endorsement and hope voters cast their ballots for her. But most of all, we hope they vote.
Even in regular city elections only a fraction of voters bother making a choice, and turnout this time -- in a special runoff for a single council district -- could make this election feel like a semiprivate affair. By way of explanation, nonvoters often claim that any candidate will quickly become the servant of powerful development, labor or political interests that pursue their own agendas without regard for residents' quality of life or the future of the city. But that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even if a handful of voters elects a candidate, that handful gains a measure of clout that cannot be ignored. After all, every politician wants to be reelected.