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Garcetti and Greuel woo James

March 8, 2013 |  4:54 pm

Let the courtship begin.

Kevin James, the Republican candidate who came in third place in Los Angeles’ mayoral race, will be meeting with the candidates who made the runoff election. James is sitting down with Wendy Greuel on Friday, and with Eric Garcetti over the weekend.

James received nearly 47,000, or 16% of the votes cast. While Garcetti received double that and Greuel nearly did, they will be aggressively courting James for his endorsement. If either Democrat can pull James’ supporters--mostly Republicans and many from the San Fernando Valley, into their column, that puts them close to victory in the May 21 runoff election.

James said that he has not decided whether he will endorse in the runoff, but he has strict criteria for the candidates as he makes up his decision.

“For Ms. Greuel, I need to have some confidence that there’s going to be some semblance of independence between her position as mayor and the public-sector unions,” James said in an interview this week.

Greuel was a major beneficiary of union spending in the race, and on Wednesday picked up the endorsement of a powerful union that represents 10,000 city workers.

“That just means that her hill gets steeper. That doesn’t mean she can’t achieve it,” James said.

“For Mr. Garcetti, I need to have some confidence and belief that he will run the office of mayor differently than he did as council president,”James said.


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-- Seema Mehta