Riordan campaigns for James at Farmers Market
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James got a last-minute boost from Richard Riordan on Monday when the former mayor joined him at the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax to talk to news crews and shake hands with the lunchtime crowd.
Riordan said voters must choose James on Tuesday because he is "the only one running who will keep us out of bankruptcy."
Riordan complained that the other candidates in the race haven't talked more about the city's fiscal problems or offered solutions to solve them.
"It really blows my mind that they're throwing rocks at each other ... but not telling the truth," he said.
James said he feels confident going into the election, despite polls that show him not making the runoff. He pointed out that the same polls show high numbers of undecided voters, as well as decided voters who said they could change their mind.
He and Riordan spoke to cameras after touring the stalls of the Farmers Market.
"Hi, I'm the old mayor of Los Angeles," Riordan introduced himself to one diner. Gesturing to James, he said: "And this is the next mayor of Los Angeles."
Many of the people they approached said they were tourists who couldn't vote. Others admitted they didn't know who James was.
But one man, Zack Grey, called out: "Hey, Kevin, we're supporting you," he said. "We've got your back."
Grey, who owns two pet supply stores in Los Angeles, said he is disappointed that the city isn't more friendly to business. He said he had complained to the city about a pothole-riddled alleyway behind one of his stores and had gotten no response.
"I don't know where all my taxes are going," he said. "$63 parking tickets and all the taxes I pay, where's it all going to? This city is in trouble."
He said he plans to vote for James because he thinks he would bring a fresh perspective to City Hall. "He's not a part of the whole political genre," Grey said.
-- Kate Linthicum
Photo: Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan speaks at a City Council meeting in November 2012. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times