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Former Villaraigosa aide Emanuel Pleitez, 29, to run for mayor

July 6, 2012 | 11:14 am

LA Mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez   Gary Friedman--Los Angeles Times

A onetime personal assistant to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday that he is jumping into next year's mayoral campaign.

While Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and businessman Rick Caruso continue to stay mum on their own plans, 29-year-old Emanuel Pleitez filed papers with the Ethics Commission this week seeking the office held by Villaraigosa, who must step down next year due to term limits.

Pleitez worked from 2003 to 2005 for Villaraigosa -- both before and during his time as a city councilman. He credited the mayor with helping to put city government on a more solid financial footing but said more needs to be done in such areas as public schools and unemployment.

“This city could have been bankrupt already and [Villaraigosa] has done a lot of things to make sure it’s not,” he said. “But is it doing great? No, it is not.”

Three years ago, Pleitez ran for a San Gabriel Valley-to-East L.A. congressional seat won by U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park). This time around, he contends Los Angeles needs a candidate with private sector experience and pointed to his three years with investment bank Goldman Sachs and, more recently, his work with the data firm Spokeo.

The field of candidates already includes three City Hall insiders -- City Council members Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry and City Controller Wendy Greuel -- as well as radio host Kevin James, a former prosecutor.

Pleitez has also worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. The son of immigrants, spent much of his childhood in El Sereno.


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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Los Angeles mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez at an appearance during his 2009 congressional campaign. Credit: Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times