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58 candidates qualify for L.A. election March 5

Eight are running to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. And eight seats on the City Council will be up for grabs.

December 16, 2012|By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

Fifty-eight candidates have qualified to run for city offices in Los Angeles' March 5 election, with the majority seeking open seats on the City Council, according to the final list released by the city clerk.

The pool of candidates is the biggest in more than a decade, in large part because of term limits. Eight are running to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who steps down next year, including City Controller Wendy Greuel, council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry, former prosecutor Kevin James and tech executive Emanuel Pleitez.

With Greuel giving up her office to run for mayor, six are looking to replace her: Councilman Dennis Zine, company executive Cary Brazeman, city commissioner Ron Galperin, business owner Jeff Bornstein, labor organizer Ankur Patel and disability advocate Analilia Joya. Meanwhile, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich faces three opponents as he runs for a second term: public safety attorney Greg Smith, community advocate Noel Weiss and former Assemblyman Mike Feuer.

Much of the action focuses on the eight council seats that are up for grabs. With only two incumbents seeking reelection, an array of state lawmakers, community volunteers and City Hall political aides have entered the field.

In the most crowded contest, 12 are seeking to replace Garcetti in an Echo Park-to-Hollywood district: former Garcetti deputy Mitch O'Farrell; business owner Roberto Haraldson; Deputy Atty. Gen. Josh Post; university professor Octavio Pescador; former City Commissioner John Choi; Assistant Fire Chief Emile Mack; neighborhood council member Sam Kbushyan; senator's district director Robert Negrete; business owner Michael Schaefer; former Villaraigosa aide Matt Szabo; former neighborhood council President Jose Sigala; and foundation director Alexander Cruz de Ocampo.

The full candidate list can be found at the city clerk's website.

In other council races, seven are seeking to replace Perry in a South Los Angeles district. Six are looking to replace Zine in the southwest San Fernando Valley. And four are running for the northeast Valley seat being vacated by Councilman Richard Alarcon.

On the Westside, four are running to replace Councilman Bill Rosendahl. On the Eastside, three are seeking the seat being vacated by Councilman Ed Reyes.

Not every race is jammed with candidates. Councilman Paul Koretz will face lone challenger Mark Herd as he seeks a second term. And Councilman Joe Buscaino, who won office in a January special election, will face disability advocate James T. Law as he seeks a full four-year term.

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