Candidates step forward as Councilman LaBonge bows out

Councilman Tom LaBonge is termed out of office next year | Courtesy Council District 4

By Nathan Solis

When council member Tom LaBonge terms out at City Hall next year, there will be at least nine candidates vying to replace him as representative of Council District 4, which that includes Hollywood, Koreatown, Los Feliz, Sherman Oaks and part of Silver Lake.

LaBonge, described as an “effusive civic cheerleader” by the LA Times, has been District 4’s council member since 2001, and will be endorsing his chief of staff Carolyn Ramsay in 2015’s crowded election. The other eight candidates, according to the Times, include:

  • Former democratic state assemblyman Wally Knox who termed out of office in 2000.
  • Attorney Teddy Davis, a former aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was a deputy director for political coverage at ABC News.
  • Real Estate broker John Perron Jr. who is also president of the East Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
  • Oscar Winslow is the current president of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Association.
  • Steve Veres was aide to state Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) and was elected to the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees in 2011.
  • Joan Pelico is currently Paul Koretz’ chief of staff in District 5 and has served that district for eight years according to the LA Times.
  • Sheila Irani is a developer and owner of advertising agency Pathways strategic communications.
  • Tara Bannister is vice president-west of the National Apartment Association and has worked as an aide to Governor Gray Davis in 1999.

District 4 has never seen a female council member. According to the LA Times, at least $300,000 is required to make a successful primary bid.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.


  1. don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out

  2. I wonder who the unions are backing?

  3. Joan Pelico? As if the area needs one more person from the Koretz cabal telling neighbors what to do. SL Neighborhood Council veteran Paul Neuman is Koretz’ Communications Director, and his wife, Renee Nahum, who was a paid political consultant for and ran Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for CD13, is everyone’s favorite Neighborhood Council personality. These, along with Anne Marie Johnson (of “AirBnB = bordello” fame) who works for Tom LaBonge, completes the SLNC trinity. Let us pray.

  4. Why no mention of the best candidate, Tomas O’Grady? O’Grady has my vote, and my volunteer time to improve local schools. Go Tomas! If you don’t know, he has been working miracles all over LA for years and the nicest guy to meet.

  5. Your list is not complete. DAVID RYU is also a contender. SEE DAVID RYU WEBSITE for full details. http://www.davidryu.com THANK YOU, though, for your interest in the race, Eastsider and Nathan!

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