At Ports O'Call, an aging complex of restaurants and souvenir shops on the waterfront, the sidewalk is scattered with campaign signs for Jayme Wilson. He is part owner of a popular restaurant and harbor cruise company there. A former president of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, he says if elected he will fight to make doing business in L.A. easier. He has raised $90,000, including $55,000 in personal loans, and is the only leading candidate who has opted not to accept matching funds from the city.
Wilson says frustration with the city is palpable in San Pedro, which is 25 miles south of City Hall but feels much farther away.
That said, talk of seceding from Los Angeles has cooled in recent years. No candidate in this race is running on the slogan that Assemblyman Vincent Thomas coined in 1948: "I hate L.A."
Wilson and other contenders have called on the city to help relocate two butane storage tanks that sit near a San Pedro residential neighborhood. A study commissioned by the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council found that if the tanks exploded, they could create a path of destruction nearly eight miles wide. The tank owners, however, say that scenario is highly unlikely.