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Mike Feuer gains endorsement of L.A. County Federation of Labor

March 19, 2013 | 12:46 pm

Photo: Mike Feuer,  candidate for city attorney, talks to the media during the election night party at a residence in Los Angeles. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

The powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has endorsed former lawmaker Mike Feuer for Los Angeles city attorney, the Feuer campaign announced Tuesday.

In a statement released by the campaign, federation chief Maria Elena Durazo said the former Los Angeles city councilman and state assemblyman "has been a tireless advocate for working families throughout his career and a real leader when it comes to bringing jobs to our region and making L.A. safer."

The endorsement adds momentum to Feuer's May runoff challenge to incumbent City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, whom Feuer led, 44% to 30%, in the four-way municipal primary this month.

The 600,000-member federation has been a potent force at City Hall and in local elections because it can provide campaign volunteers and urge the workers it represents to vote for its preferred candidates. In some races, it has spent heavily on efforts independent of a candidates campaign, such as when it led an alliance that spent $8.5 million to help elect Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 2008.

But critics say organized labor has too much power, especially as the city grapples with ways to reduce public employee pension costs as it struggles to close a structural deficit in its finances.

The Trutanich campaign could not be reached for an immediate response Tuesday. But it might be expected to use the endorsement to claim that Feuer, a Democrat, would be beholden to city employees.

Trutanich is a registered independent and the more conservative of the two candidates.

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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Mike Feuer, candidate for city attorney, talks to the media during the election night party at a residence in Los Angeles. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times
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