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Top aide to L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz seeking Tom LaBonge's seat

September 04, 2013|By David Zahniser
  • Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge must step down in 2015 due to term limits, and candidates to take over his seat are lining up.
Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge must step down in 2015 due to term… (Francine Orr / Los Angeles…)

The top aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz said Wednesday that she would run for the Silver Lake-to-Sherman Oaks seat being vacated by Councilman Tom LaBonge, bringing the total number of contenders to four.

Joan Pelico, Koretz's chief of staff, said she would fill out the paperwork next week to raise money for the contest, which is still 18 months away. LaBonge is set to step down in 2015 due to term limits.

Pelico said she planned to use a vacation day to fill out the paperwork. She follows three others who have already announced plans to raise money in the March 2015 race: Tara Bannister, vice president of the National Apartment Assn.; Carolyn Ramsay, LaBonge's chief of staff; and Teddy Davis, a onetime spokesman for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was until recently a press aide to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

LaBonge's district takes in all or part of the Los Feliz, Griffith Park, the Hollywood Hills, Toluca Lake, Sherman Oaks, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park and Windsor Square neighborhoods. "I'm sure we're going to see a bunch more people" enter the contest, Pelico said. "It's a wonderful district."

Pelico, 58, has worked for eight years in the City Council's 5th District, which stretches from Westwood north to Encino. Before entering city government Pelico made her name in the fitness business. In the 1980s, she ran Great Shape Health Club in Brentwood and later started her own fitness school, Masters of Motion, in Santa Monica.

A decade ago Pelico was president of the parents association for the Sherman Oaks Elementary School and after that, the school's director of development. She became a field deputy to Councilman Jack Weiss in 2005.

Pelico, a Sherman Oaks resident, stayed with the office when Koretz was elected in 2009. She rose to the level of chief of staff earlier this year.


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Twitter: @davidzahniser

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