It is rare when three former candidates as diverse as Kevin James, Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez rally around a single candidate in a runoff election, but that’s what has happened in the Los Angeles mayoral election campaign.
Kevin James completed the circuit today when he announced his support for Eric Garcetti on the steps of Van Nuys City Hall. As a result, the potential exists for Garcetti to lay claim to the votes cast in the primary for the three, or up to one-third of the total turnout. Of course, there will be some attrition and some voters may not follow the leads of the endorsers. However, it is reasonable to assume the majority of this coveted pool will cast their ballots for Garcetti. If it is any indication, James conducted a poll of his supporters as to an endorsement preference. Garcetti was the top choice; Greuel was a distant fourth.
The windfall for Garcetti will be better if his ex-opponents actively campaign on his behalf. James said he would. Given the negative personal campaign conducted by Greuel against Perry, it is likely she will also reinforce her endorsement by lending her voice to Garcetti’s bid.
The unanimity of these endorsements says something about trust. The three agree that Garcetti is committed to solving the city’s problems, as opposed to Greuel’s elusive stance and shifting positions which appear to be shaped to please whatever audience she is addressing at the moment.
James was particularly swayed by Garcetti’s record of economic growth in Council District 13. As a former Assistant US Attorney, James is accustomed to evaluating evidence. As much as he looked for holes in Garcetti’s assertions during the primary campaign, he could not find any.
He was also impressed by Garcetti’s unwavering support for the moderate pension reform measures passed by the City Council despite pushback by the public unions.
Garcetti stated he has been ready to debate Greuel since the conclusion of the primary, but she has been reluctant to commit. That says something by itself.