Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C Parks. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles…)
This post has been updated. See below for details.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks on Wednesday endorsed council candidate Ana Cubas in the May 21 race to represent part of South Los Angeles, calling her a “bridge builder” between the district’s various racial and ethnic groups.
Parks, a former police chief, described the former council aide as someone who would bring together the black, Mexican American and Salvadoran communities in neighborhoods immediately south of downtown. He also criticized her opponent, state Sen. Curren Price, for making a racially charged accusation about Cubas, who is Latina, last week.
Price, who is black, told an audience of mostly African American clergy on March 18 that Cubas has sought to divide voters in the 9th District “along racial lines.” Price retreated from that statement after attending a meeting called by Council President Herb Wesson -- one attended by Cubas -- to discuss the tone of the campaign.
Parks, who was the city’s second African American police chief, said Price’s original remark showed "insensitivity" to the district's multiple ethnic groups. He also suggested it was designed to send “a subliminal message to the black electorate that we’ve got to all stick together.”
“I thought right off the bat that we were beyond that,” he said. “I thought … that we would have candidates that understand and appreciate diversity.”
Price's campaign did not immediately provide a response.
[Updated, 7:13 p.m., March 27: Hours after Parks gave his endorsement, Price announced that he had secured the support of David Roberts, a former Parks aide who was his opponent in the March 5 primary election. Roberts said in a statement that Price will bring job growth and economic development to the district.
[Roberts praised Price's "expertise in the areas of economic development and education."]
Parks represents a section of South Los Angeles immediately west of the district that Cubas and Price hope to represent.
The 9th District is currently represented by Councilwoman Jan Perry, who must step down June 30 after 12 years. Perry has not endorsed but her predecessor, former Councilwoman Rita Walters, is backing Cubas.
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