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Villaraigosa endorses Jackie Lacey for D.A.

D.A. candidate Jackie Lacey.Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several of his colleagues on the City Council on Friday publicly threw their backing behind Los Angeles County district attorney candidate Jackie Lacey at a news conference on the steps of City Hall.

Lacey's boss, current Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley -- who has also endorsed Lacey -- was on scene, waiting to endorse an outsider candidate running to replace Villaraigosa in a separate news conference.

Lacey, Cooley's chief deputy, is running against Alan Jackson, assistant head deputy in the office's major crimes division.

Villaraigosa, along with council members Herb Wesson, Jan Perry, Dennis Zine and Paul Koretz, touted Lacey's experience and her roots in the community, as well as the historic nature of her campaign. If elected, Lacey would be the first woman and first African American to hold the top prosecutor's post.

"What's clear about Jackie is she knows how to get the job done," Villaraigosa said. "She's got the experience, the leadership to continue the good work, the fine work, of the district attorney's office."

Wesson added, "She went to work for the district attorney's office when it was a man's world, and she kept moving up, up until the district attorney selected her to be his chief of staff. ... I believe standing to my left is a person who's going to make history."

Cooley was there waiting to announce his endorsement of mayoral candidate Kevin James, a former prosecutor and talk-show host who has been highly critical of Villaraigosa's record.

To add to the odd political grouping, James' campaign consultant, John Thomas, is also running the campaign for Lacey's opponent, Jackson.

Zine noticed Cooley in the crowd during Villaraigosa's news conference and told him: "You should be up here with us!" -- at which Cooley obligingly joined the mayor and council members at the microphone.

Cooley said the unusual tableau was not deliberate.

"Anytime I'm someplace and someone says stand next to Jackie Lacey, I'll stand next to Jackie Lacey. But I think other than that, it was kind of a coincidence," he said.

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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: D.A. candidate Jackie Lacey. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

 
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