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L.A. Votes: Building runoff machines, courting endorsements

March 13, 2013|By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times

After a frenzy of activity on the campaign trail in recent weeks, culminating in last week’s primary election, the mayoral candidates are focusing on raising money, trotting out new endorsements and courting party and labor loyalists to build their general-election campaign machinery.

On Tuesday, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti courted two key groups-–the most influential labor coalition in the county, and the county Democrats, neither of which endorsed in the primary.

Reflecting the tightness of the race, the county Democratic Party again split on which candidates to endorse in the May 21 runoff election. But a key committee of the county Federation of Labor backed Greuel, setting in motion the procedural votes that will almost certainly result in an official endorsement in the next week. Both candidates vigorously sought the imprimateur of the federation, which represents about 600,000 workers.

The fight for endorsements-–which can carry financial backing, influence or armies of volunteers-–has intensified in recent days over the parties that did not weigh in before the primary. Now that the field has been whittled down to two, state lawmakers are increasingly making their decision on who to back in the mayoral contest. Greuel rolled out the backing of two influential African American pastors, and Garcetti rolled out the backing of some labor unions and the former leader of the state Democratic party.

The lull in campaigning is likely to be short-lived. Greuel plans to stump Wednesday morning with women and minority business leaders, while Garcetti will speak at a luncheon for the L.A. Metropolitan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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

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