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L.A. Votes: New support, new challenges for mayoral candidates

March 29, 2013|By Seema Mehta
  • Former Lakers great and current Dodgers executive Magic Johnson gives Wendy Greuel a high five after endorsing her campaign to be mayor of Los Angeles.
Former Lakers great and current Dodgers executive Magic Johnson gives… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Major African-American leaders announced their choices in the mayoral race, with Magic Johnson backing City Controller Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry endorsing City Councilman Eric Garcetti. Black voters in the city, many of whom supported Councilwoman Perry in her unsuccessful mayoral bid, could be pivotal in the May 21 runoff.

Both endorsers on Thursday displayed some raw emotion in their moves, with Perry castigating Greuel’s attacks on her personal financial history in the primary campaign’s closing days and Johnson bristling at suggestions that he was a celebrity rather than a businessman with a long-time vested interest in South Los Angeles.

With the city clerk’s release of final primary election results, check out The Times’ data desk’s overview of the final election results in all races as well as maps showing the geographic strengths of the mayoral candidates.

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On the campaign trail, the mayoral candidates find themselves walking a fine line as they discuss labor. Both are liberal Democrats who are supportive of organized labor and collective bargaining, while at the same time are cognizant of the massive budget issues facing the city in parts because of Los Angeles’ agreements with public-employee unions.

And they faced tough questions about a contentious proposal to dramatically change Hollywood’s skyline. The move, which was backed by the city’s planning commission on Thursday and is supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is opposed by Garcetti. Greuel has not yet taken a position.

Every day brings fresh reminders of the challenges the next mayor will face. Council president Herb Wesson is convening a panel comprised mostly of Los Angeles political insiders to come up with new ideas to tackle the city’s budget gap and create jobs. And given the management shake-up at AEG, the firm that is trying to build a football stadium in downtown, some believe the city must begin to consider alternate ways to expand and redesign its aging convention center.

In other races, a supporter of City Atty. Carmen Trutanich filed suit against challenger Mike Feuer arguing that his campaign improperly obtained matching funds by hiding the cost of a political consultant. And in the 9th district council race to replace termed-out Perry, Councilman Bernard C. Parks endorsed Ana Cubas and the Los Angeles Police Protective League endorsed Curren Price.

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

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