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06
Tue, Dec

Let the LA Election Follies Begin

THE EASTSIDER - March is upon us, and the 2022 Nominating Petitions are all in.

So now we know who’s running for what. Here’s a quick look at the Citywide offices and the Northeast LA Council Districts that are up for the June 7th Primary. 

Mayor

A total of 27 hardy individuals filed to run for Mayor of Los Angeles. When the dust cleared, we are left with 13 folks on the ballot, which is still way too many to go into.  Between now and the June Primary, the field will have shaken out.  For now, the front runners seem to be  Mike Feuer, Joe Buscaino, Karen Bass, Kevin De Leon, and Rick Caruso. 

Noteworthy is the fact that Rick Caruso, the billionaire developer who owns the Grove and the Americana, registered as a Democrat before entering into the race. Like it or not, his entry shook the foundations of the usual professional democrat politicians - and their assumptions as to who will win. 

So in future articles we’ll concentrate on the front runners, absent someone else breaking out of the pack... or getting indicted. 

City Attorney

We have seven candidates for City Attorney, with one who did not complete the process. Those on the ballot will be Kevin James, Teddy Kapur, Richard Kim, Sherri Onica Valle Cole, Marina Torres, Hydee Feldstein Soto, and Faisal M Gill. 

Given the incumbents track record of skating right on the edge of disbarment or criminal conspiracy charges, Mike Feuer’s example shows us how seriously important it is to have a real lawyer in this position, as opposed to a politician with a law degree. 

If you think I”m kidding, take a look at a recent Citywatch piece. Crooked Lawyers, the DWP and Unraveling the Legal Scheme 

Since too many Angelenos don’t pay much attention the City Attorney race, I’m going to start the 2022 election series off with the City Attorney race next week. 

I believe that the City Attorney needs to be LA Citys Attorney, not a politician who plays the go along to get along game. It’s been too long since we voted one in, so lets give the candidates record more than the usual gloss this time. 

Controller

It’s going to be hard to replace Ron Galperin as LA City Controller. Until he recently got the ‘I want to be a politician’ bug as he terms out, he actually did a good job, and the Audits he did were a good blueprint for whoever succeeds him. 

Here we we have 7 candidates..  They are Kenneth Mejia, J. Carolan O’Gabhann, Reid Lidow, Paul Koretz, Rob Wilcox, David T. Vahedi, and Stephanie Clements. At some point we’ll look at what the Controller’s job is, and what they can and cannot do. 

The City Council Races

The three Northeast LA Council Districts are CD14, CD1, and CD13. Since Kevin De Leon’s CD14 is not on the ballot this time, I will probably not be covering the races too much in CD 3,5,7,9,or 11, because I am not familiar enough with their politics to track everything.  

Besides, CityWatch has any number of other writers who have the subject matter knowledge to make for a lively discourse.  Of course if something newsworthy pops, I can be flexible :-) 

Council District 1

Five people filed for CD1, but only two qualified to be on the ballot; incumbent Gil Cedillo, and newcomer  Eunisses Hernandez.  Here the only issue is whether or not Cedillo will win the election outright with 50% plus one of the votes cast on June 7th. 

Council District 13

Here we have more of a contest. Initially 8 people filed, with one not completing the process, and two who have formally withdrawn. Left on the ballot are Alberto Corado, Stephen Johnson, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Mitch O’Farrell, and Kate Pynoos. 

With this many people on the ballot, it is not guaranteed that incumbent Mitch O”Farrell will make the 50% plus 1 mark to become the outright winner in the June 7th Primary. So we will be following this one closely. 

LAUSD

There are three seats open at the LAUSD Board. With the challenges during the pandemic over masks and online learning, we also lost the Superintendent as Beutner left. It’s a time when you really would have to have a reason to get on the LAUSD Board, even as our new Superintendent comes in from Florida. 

In District No.1, there are 5 contenders.  They are Maria Brenes, Erica Vilardi-Espinosa, Miguel Angel Segura, Rocio Rivas, and Raquel Zamora. 

District No.4 should produce a winner in the primary, since it pits incumbent Nick Melvoin against Gentille Barkhordarian. Thus it is likely that someone will get a majority in the Primary. 

Finally, in District No.6, we have three candidates on the ballot. They are Kelly Gonez, Marvin A. Rodriguez, and Jess Arana. 

I will look forward for fellow Citywatch contributor Carl Pederson’s take on these races, as he has a contrarian attitude I agree with and writes truth to power articles. Also there is the East Area Progressive’s Mary Fischer, who is the Communications Chair, which fits with her Citywatch listing as ‘a journalist and Eastside activist’. She may weigh in as well. 

In the interests of full disclosure, I should probably also note that Rocio Rivas, who is running for District 1, just happens to be the EAPD Secretary. You will not be surprised that the EAPD has endorsed her.  Hmm, looks like I may need to cover these races as well.  We’ll see. 

The Takeaway

So start your engines, get ready for high jinks and low deeds, as the LA City 2022 elections ramp up for a June Primary..

 

(Tony Butka is an Eastside community activist, who has served on a neighborhood council, has a background in government and is a contributor to CityWatch.)