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.
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.