Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. announced Monday that he is endorsing Atty. Gen.
"She took on the Wall Street banks and delivered for Californians. She's fought elementary school truancy and for the right of children to receive a first-class education," Wesson said in a statement. "And she'll continue to be a champion for working and middle class families across California and the nation."
Wesson’s backing of Harris is one of several endorsements expected from prominent African American leaders in coming days. It is also notable because Wesson has been a reliable ally to former Los Angeles Mayor
Days earlier, former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown directly urged Villaraigosa to stand down for Harris.
"His loyalty and his relationship with her should be so valuable, and he should, in my opinion, see it as an opportunity to demonstrate that," Brown told the Sacramento Bee.
Brown previously dated Harris but also had a close relationship with Villaraigosa, whom he described as "like a young son of mine for years."
Harris is the only major candidate who has officially joined the race, and has picked up endorsements from big-name Democratic senators around the country as well as from some elected leaders in California.
Latino Democratic leaders in Southern California have pushed the notion that Harris has effectively been anointed by powerful Democratic forces in the Bay Area, at the expense of Southern California and the growing Latino electorate.