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Los Angeles City Elections 2013

Police Protective League not endorsing in city attorney's race

January 17, 2013|By Jim Newton
  • Former Assemblyman and city attorney candidate Mike Feuer, shown at a bill-signing ceremony in 2008, stands to benefit from the Police Protective League's decision not to endorse in the race.
Former Assemblyman and city attorney candidate Mike Feuer, shown at a bill-signing… (Los Angeles Times )

A source close to the Los Angeles Police Protective League says that the league has decided, at least for now, not to make an endorsement in the race for city attorney. (The league this week endorsed Controller Wendy Greuel for mayor.)

The decision to hold off in the city attorney’s race will come as a disappointment to at least two candidates in the race -- and therefore as a bonus to the other major contender. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich was helped by the league’s endorsement four years ago when he was battling City Councilman Jack Weiss. Trutanich won that close contest and had worked for the league’s support this time too.

In addition, lawyer Greg Smith, who represents police officers in their lawsuits against the city, had hoped his close relationship with the league and its members might win him the organization’s support. Based on recent private polling, Smith has argued that he has a path to the runoff, in part by convincing voters that he is the candidate favored by law enforcement groups.

John Thomas, the consultant overseeing Smith’s campaign, said his candidate would have welcomed the endorsement but added that Smith enjoys enough other law enforcement support to continue to make that claim. In addition, Thomas said he hoped the league would endorse once the campaign is in the second round.

“Are we disappointed? Absolutely,” Thomas said. “But we can still lay a good claim for the support of law enforcement.”

The chief beneficiary of the league’s inaction may be former Assemblyman Mike Feuer, who seemed unlikely to capture the endorsement. He won’t get it either, but at least he no longer has to run against it.

Noel Weiss, a community activist and lawyer, also is campaigning for the office.

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