Los Feliz nonprofit director Tomas O'Grady, who narrowly missed making the runoff in the race to represent a City Council district spanning from Sherman Oaks to the Miracle Mile, threw his support Wednesday behind council aide Carolyn Ramsay.
Fourteen candidates competed for the seat in the March primary. The top two finishers -- Ramsay and hospital development director David Ryu -- will go head to head in May.
With so many candidates splitting the vote, Ramsay and Ryu each advanced to the runoff with about 15% of the ballots cast, leaving both eager to pick up support from the losing candidates. The winner will replace termed-out Councilman
O'Grady, who finished third and garnered about 14% of the primary vote, said he was backing Ramsay because she was "smart, passionate and methodical" and "refreshingly honest about what was actually possible."
The decision might surprise some Angelenos who saw O'Grady and Ramsay spar at debates. O'Grady was an outspoken critic of City Hall "insiders," including LaBonge Chief of Staff Ramsay, and had criticized some decisions made by LaBonge while she was serving.
O'Grady said he was impressed that most of Ramsay's money came from in and around the district. Ryu got much of his funding from outside the district, but says more than half of his donors gave $100 or less, which he argues is a more important sign of grassroots support.
The only other candidate to publicly announce an endorsement was Fred Mariscal, a marketing executive who got less than 1% of the primary vote and recently backed Ramsay.
Ramsay has also picked up support from LaBonge and several other current council members. Ryu recently got the endorsement of the county Democratic Party.