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L.A. Votes: Greuel gets Waters' backing, Garcetti gets union money

April 08, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), right, endorses Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, left, on the steps of City Hall on Monday.
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), right, endorses Los Angeles… (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles…)

Los Angeles mayoral contender Wendy Greuel has landed a coveted endorsement from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), one of the city's influential leaders among African American voters. Both Greuel and her rival in the May 21 election to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, city Councilman Eric Garcetti, aggressively sought Waters' backing. 

Unions have largely backed Greuel’s mayoral bid, financially boosting her effort but prompting critics to question whether she would be beholden to labor if elected. Rival Eric Garcetti is getting a new boost from labor -- $300,000 in donations, with the promise of more to come. While the two Democrats both enjoy labor support, there is a noticeable split -- the bulk of the union money that has backed Greuel has come from city-worker unions, while the dollars being spent on Garcetti mainly coming from private-sector labor organizations.

The candidates are competing for undecided voters in the coastal enclave of San Pedro, a part of Los Angeles that has long felt neglected by the politicians at City Hall. Greuel rallied supporters there Saturday, while Garcetti appeared a week before and a block away.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Garcetti on Saturday picked up the endorsement of City Council President Herb Wesson, joining the bulk of council members who have supported the city councilman. Greuel said the endorsements show Garcetti is part of the status quo. The previous day, Garcetti won the backing of school board member Tamar Galatzan and sought to counter the criticism over some of his earlier statements about education reform.

In the city attorney’s race, challenger Mike Feuer has outpaced incumbent Carmen Trutanich in the endorsement derby. Feuer says the support he's receiving indicates politicians, civic leaders, labor chiefs and others have “a clear desire for change,” while Trutanich said it shows that Feuer is part of the “old boys club.”

Garcetti will discuss economic growth in Hollywood at 11:30 a.m. And an independent committee backing the city councilman’s bid, called “Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013,” will open its first field office at noon as they attempt to boost voter turnout to help his bid.

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Both candidates will be fundraising in the evening. Garcetti will raise money at a reception hosted by producers Steven Bochco and Peter Guber, among others. Greuel’s downtown fundraiser is hosted by former state Assembly leader Richard Katz, as well as executives  in the construction industry.

Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema

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