Culver City Edition Lead Story Northeast Edition West Edition

Garcetti, Price face challengers in March election

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti could face as many as 12 challengers in his bid for re-election March 7 and Ninth District City Councilman Curren Price is facing three challengers.

Filing for candidates seeking office in the March 7 primary election for city officials were required to file their nominating petitions and supplemental petitions with the City Clerk’s Office Dec. 7.

The final list of candidates revealed that Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer will be running for re-election unopposed, and Garcetti has one less major challenger.

Candidates who declared an intent to run had to either pay a fee of $300 and get 500 signatures from registered voters within their applicable jurisdictions by the deadline, or waive the filing fee and submit 1,000 signatures.

The list of final candidates may change as the City Clerk’s Office has 10 days to certify the petitions.

The big news in the mayor’s race is that Steve Barr, the founder of Green Dot Public Schools, has dropped plans to run against Garcetti. Barr was among 19 people filing declarations of intention by the Nov. 11 deadline.

Mayor Eric Garcetti could face as many as 12 challengers in his bid for re-election March 7. (File photo)
Mayor Eric Garcetti could face as many as 12 challengers in his bid for re-election March 7. (File photo)

Garcetti may still face up to 12 challengers. They are YJ J Draiman, Matthew “Matt” Giaba, David Hernandez, Eric Preven, Paul E. Amori, Diane “Pinky” Harman, Jonathan Kirkland, Frantz Pierre, Yuval Kremer, Dennis Richter, David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg and Mitchell Schwartz.

Schwartz could be the biggest threat to Garcetti’s re-election. He identifies himself as a political strategist, an environmentalist and an entrepreneur.

He was involved in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and worked in the State Department during his first term in office.

“This campaign is about making L.A. a city we can all afford to live in, solving the homelessness crisis, reforming DWP, reforming ethics at City Hall, and dealing honestly with our fiscal situation,” Schwartz said last week.

“We all know Eric Garcetti is a nice guy, but as mayor, he has failed on all these fronts. Living here is more unaffordable than ever, homelessness is at record highs, the DWP remains mired in scandal, our politicians are indebted to developers and other special interests, and without pension reform we face a looming crisis in our budget.

“Angelenos are demanding change, and I am proud to fight for that change.”

Schwartz already has a campaign war chest of more than $250,000, but will need more than that if he is going to pose a threat to Garcetti’s re-election.

Feuer’s path to re-election as city attorney was cleared, as potential challenger Oscar R. Winslow withdrew from the race.

Incumbent City Controller Ron Galperin faces one potential challenger, Adolfo Espinoza.

In the 9th Council District, incumbent Price may face three challengers in Felipe Velazquez, Jorge Nuno and Adriana Cabrera.

Cabrera is on record as being opposed to The Reef project that was recently approved by the City Council.

“Last year I was in search of a one-bedroom apartment to rent in South Central,” Cabrera said. “I spent months looking for an affordable place.

“We have a housing crisis in our community. We need affordable housing.”

“We are not against development, we are against displacement,” she added.

In the 1st Council District, incumbent Gil Cedillo faces up to four challengers. They are Jesse Rosas, Miguel Amaya, Giovany Hernandez and Luca Barton.

In the 11th Council District, incumbent Mike Bonin may have three challengers in Mark Ryavec, Brian Paul and Robin Rudisill.

In the 13th Council District, incumbent Mitch O`Farrell may face three challengers in Doug Haines, David de la Torre and Bill Zide.

In the 15th Council District, incumbent Joe Buscaino may face four challengers in Caney Arnold, Cheyenne Bryant, James Preston Allen and Noel Gould.

Also on the city ballot are three races for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and three expiring terms on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.

In District 2, Monica Garcia is seeking re-election and has five potential challengers, Carl Petersen, Manny Aldana, Lisa Alva and Miho Murai.

In District 4, incumbent Steve Zimmer has two challengers, Allison Polihill and Gregory Martayan.

In District 6, which serves the San Fernando Valley, incumbent Monica Ratliff is running for the City Council and as many as six candidates are vying for hear seat.

In the community college district, District 2 incumbent Michael Eng is not seeking re-election.

Steven Veres, Sergio Vargas, Thomas Norman and Steve Goldstein are seeking his seat.

In District 4, incumbent Ernest Moreno, the former president of East Los Angeles College; is seeking re-election against Dallas Fowler.

And in District 6, Nancy Pearlman is facing Gabriel Buelna.

City Clerk Holly Wolcott announced Dec. 12 that the March 7 primary election will be consolidated with the Los Angeles County election.

The county Board of Supervisors approved a measure on Dec. 6 that called for a countywide election in order to place a county measure before voters asking for a quarter-cent sales-tax increase to fund the fight against homelessness.

The consolidation means that the county will perform poll worker recruitment, polling place recruitment, election day operations, ballot recovery, and vote tallying for the city.

“The benefits of a consolidated election are clear,” wrote Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in the motion creating the consolidated election. “They improve voter clarity, avoid duplication of services, reduce voter fatigue, and serve to ensure a countywide awareness of the election which facilitates and encourages voter participation.”

Those seeking city offices must receive more than 50 percent of the vote March 7 to avoid the May runoff election.