L.A. City Council race revs up as 11 seek to replace Janice Hahn
Voters in the Harbor area may be feeling a touch of election fatigue.
In July, they cast votes in a special congressional election that sent Democrat Janice Hahn to Washington. In early November, they’ll be asked to go to the polls again, this time to choose Hahn’s successor on the Los Angeles City Council.
Already, brightly colored campaign signs dot the district, which takes in San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor Gateway and Watts. The flurry of endorsements and campaign mailers is well underway.
On Thursday, city election officials certified the list of 11 candidates who qualified for the race.
Four candidates have already raised at least $50,000, according to campaign filings. They are police officer Joe Buscaino; state Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena); firefighter Pat McOsker; and Rudy Svorinich, a two-term city councilman who is eligible to run again thanks to a change in term limits.
Furutani has the support of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several labor unions. McOsker has the backing of some other labor unions, including United Firefighters of Los Angeles City -- where he served as president until last month, when he stepped down to run his campaign. Buscaino, an LAPD officer who spent several years as senior lead officer in the Harbor Division, has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
The field also includes current and former Hahn staffers and several local business leaders, including two women, Rebecca Chambliss and Candice Graham. Hahn’s departure this summer left only one woman on the 15-person City Council, Jan Perry, who will term out of office in 2013. Perry is a candidate for mayor.
Former City Councilman Robert Farrell, who represented the 8th Council District from 1974 until 1991, had announced plans to run for the 15th District seat. He was disqualified as a candidate because the nominating petition he submitted to the office of the city clerk was incomplete.
The election will be held on Nov. 8. A runoff, if necessary, will be on Jan. 17, 2012.
-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall
Photo: House Speaker John Boehner, second from right, participates in the swearing-in for Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Los Angeles) in Washington on July 19. Holding the Bible is Hahn's daughter Katy Yates and standing in front center are her grandchildren Josiah Yates, 5, left, and Brooklyn Yates, 6. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press