Ballot Box: “Valuable political real estate” attracts a crowd of candidates to Council District 13

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.”

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  1. Garcetti did the same exact thing. He moved from the Valley to Echo Park (above Valentine) to run in CD 13. I’m not a fan and I hope he loses. He’s the most poltically calculated panderer there is. He stands for nothing except for his next job and he let developers run wild in CD 13 so he could count on them to fund his mayoral campaign.

  2. & then, after he sold Echo Park out, he moved to Silverlake.

  3. Eric Garcetti is a coward – he can’t even face his own shadow. Ever since Mitch O’Farrell “left”, Garcetti has been paralyzed with indecision. I’ll comment what people are thinking: Mitch O’Farrell made Eric Garcetti look competent. And tell your good buddy Matt Szabo, we do not want a Garcetti foot soldier.

  4. It’s more than valuable POLITICAL real estate. Or is political value and actual fiscal value the same exact thing….

  5. Congratulations to the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council who put together a candidate forum this week that featured ALL 12 candidates, managed to give each of them time to speak, AND finished on time! It was a really effective event, and gave the residents of Elysian Valley a chance to learn a little about each candidate, and allowed the candidates to hear about issues of vital concern to the area.

    By the end of the evening, it was pretty evident which of the candidates know the district, and which ones have no clue.

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