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Ed Koch
Eric Garcetti for mayor
Eric Garcetti for mayor

Los Angeles is an underachieving city led in recent decades by a succession of underachieving mayors — people who came in with big dreams or big talk but soon got bored with the day-to-day task of steering a municipality. Voters don't get to conduct a casting call or sift through hundreds of applicants until they identify the ideal candidate, but must instead choose from a field prescreened by the political and fundraising processes. This year that field fails to include a candidate who stands out as the obviously superior choice. The task for voters then becomes to scrutinize track records, eliminate the worst hazards and seek potential that can be forged, with the proper...

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