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Two candidates looking to replace L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge

ElectionsPoliticsLabor DayGun ControlInterior Policy

Two longtime political aides took the first step Tuesday toward running in the March 2015 election for the seat being vacated by Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge.

Teddy Davis, who spent more than a year as a spokesman for former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, informed the city's Ethics Commission he will begin raising money in the race to replace LaBonge, who must leave because of term limits.

LaBonge chief of staff Carolyn Ramsay said she too is seeking to represent the district, which stretches from Silver Lake to Sherman Oaks. "I'm committed to continuing the good work Councilman LaBonge has been doing to protect neighborhoods," she said in an email.

Tuesday was the first day for candidates in seven council races to fill out fundraising forms for the 2015 campaign. With LaBonge completing his final four-year term, the race to replace him is expected to draw a large field of candidates.

Davis, 35, spent most of this year as a press aide for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, promoting his policies on education, the environment and gun control in that state. Ramsay, 54, is a former magazine writer who focused on park-related issues before being hired by LaBonge in 2006.

Davis said his campaign would focus on issues such as traffic reduction, neighborhood safety and job creation. He and Ramsay both said they would not have supported the controversial Millennium skyscraper project in Hollywood when it came up for a vote in July. Foes of the project contend city officials failed to disclose important information on how close it is to the Hollywood fault, which has been declared active by the state and capable of producing an earthquake greater than magnitude 7.0.

"I would not have voted for Millennium because the city has a responsibility to conduct seismic studies before they vote in order to ensure public safety," Davis said.

Davis, who currently is a fellow at USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, has held a wide variety of jobs over the last 12 years. In 2001 and 2002, he was a special assistant to Gov. Gray Davis; between 2003 and 2010, he worked for ABC News in New York and Washington, D.C., rising to the post of deputy director for political coverage. In 2010 and 2011, he worked for Service Employees International Union, first in Washington, D.C., and later for the Los Angeles local that represents City Hall employees.

LaBonge's term ends in June 2015. His district includes such areas as Griffith Park, Toluca Lake, Los Feliz, the Hollywood Hills, Hancock Park, Windsor Square and other neighborhoods.

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Twitter: @davidzahniser

david.zahniser@latimes.com

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