An L.A. Weekly story on Council District 13 race explores the reasons why so many candidates – a dozen – and so much money – more than a million dollars and counting – have poured into the election to replace termed-out Councilman Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor. In fact, some of the most prominent candidates in the council race, including former Public Works Commissioner John Choi and former Mayor Villaraigosa executive Matt Szabo, may have moved into the district fairly recently just to run in the March 5 election, according to people quoted by the Weekly. Why is Council District 13, which includes, Atwater, Echo Park, Hollywood and Silver Lake, so popular among aspiring political leaders?
The Weekly story by Patrick Range McDonald notes that present and past Council District 13 representatives have been fairly successful in moving up the political ladder:
Garcetti is using his CD 13 visibility for his strong run for mayor. In 1993, then–CD 13 Councilman [Michael] Woo beat many in the mayoral primary but lost the runoff to Richard Riordan. Jackie Goldberg successfully ran for the state Legislature while representing CD 13, serving three terms.
No city council race on the West Coast in the past year has attracted $1 million for a mere primary. But by mid-January, direct contributions to candidates in CD 13 hit $1.05 million. The next-priciest contest in L.A. was downtown’s Council District 9, where $687,568 was given to candidates vying to represent that weighty political real estate. The winner will represent skyscraper owners, upscale new areas and the poor.
Woo, who is currently a dean at Cal Poly Pomona, describes Council District 13 as “valuable political real estate.”