Not all of the hats are in the ring by a long shot, but here’s an early take on the race for mayor of Los Angeles.
The newsletter of California Political Week (CALPEEK_Newsletter_5.12.11) published a synopsis of the race. No predictions were made, but the article appropriately set the campaign against the backdrop of a financially troubled city. It also emphasized that most of the early favorites have major union connections.
It will be interesting to watch how Yaroslavsky, Greuel, Padilla and Garcetti fight over union endorsements. I’m not sure how Jan Perry figures in that battle. She was a staunch supporter of Bernard Parks in the last Council District elections where Parks barely defeated a labor bankrolled challenger.
Although Rick Caruso is mentioned, I have heard he will not run.
I can’t see anyone getting excited about Austin Beutner. However business savvy he might be, many voters will connect him with Antonio Villaraigosa and cast their ballots for someone else. Villaraigosa’s Latino base might tend to go with Padilla, so no help for Beutner from that quarter. Even Riordan’s endorsement of Beutner does not carry that much weight these days. It sure didn’t help Chris Essel in her run against Paul Krekorian in 2009 in what might be one of the most expensive defeats in the history of city politics.
Although the article listed Kevin James as a “lesser known candidate,” he received the most print – and it was favorable, mentioning his background as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and as a radio host on KRLA.
James is also an ally of the Neighborhood Councils and has made a point of visiting as many of the ninety-three chartered councils as possible.
An LA Weekly article predicted Yaroslavsky would be the ultimate winner based on input from experts, but, to be honest, it is way too early to predict winners. We have all seen early favorites crash and burn. Does anyone remember Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign?