Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, the loser in last year's gubernatorial race, was dealt another setback as the two candidates he worked hardest for in Tuesday's City Council elections fell short of victory, with one of the two tripped up by a political newcomer.
After 18 years in office, City Council President Pat Russell, a longtime friend and ally of the mayor, was ambushed in the 6th Council District race by Ruth Galanter, a planning consultant who had never run for office before. Many people saw the Westside race as a referendum against a pro-development mind-set shared by Russell and Bradley.
In the nearby 10th District, where Bradley first won political office 24 years ago, his choice among 14 candidates, Homer Broome Jr., came in second to former state Sen. Nate Holden. Broome, running for his first elective office, had tied his campaign firmly to Bradley's popularity.
The top two candidates in the 6th and the 10th districts face runoff elections on June 2. That leaves Bradley 45 days to put the starch back in his coattails and enhance his own image with voters as he looks toward the next mayoral race, two years from now. The mayor has pledged to continue working for both Russell and Broome.
Mayor Denies Harm
Bradley insisted Wednesday that the outcome of the two races did not hurt him politically.
"I have had a lot of candidates who I have supported who lost, and it hasn't affected my prestige," the mayor said during a City Hall press conference.
Nor did he see his future as tied to Russell's because of the similarity of their views on growth and development.
"I was not on the ballot. I will be in 1989," he said.
Tuesday's elections, held in seven of 15 City Council districts, were linked by the presence of the mayor in two races and by broad voter interest in the issues of growth and development. Voters first took a stand against growth last November, when they overwhelmingly approved Proposition U, a ballot initiative limiting the size of commercial buildings near residential neighborhoods.
The public's growing preoccupation with crowding and congestion has led some observers to warn that Bradley and Russell--neither of whom endorsed Proposition U--must take a tougher stand against development or lose the support of a growing number of voters.
"I think it (development) is an issue that has come of age," said Councilman Michael Woo, elected in Hollywood two years ago after running on an anti-development platform.
"The primacy of development is under fire in rich, poor, hill areas, flatlands, all over the city."
Woo is backing Russell against Galanter, and he says he still supports the mayor. But he said he worries about their futures.
"In many ways, Pat Russell and Tom Bradley are in the same boat," Woo said Wednesday. "They have got to find better ways of addressing an issue that has aroused such ferocity in the voters."
'Platform of . . . Growth'
Some people close to the mayor wonder, however, if Bradley, who regards the downtown building boom as one of his greatest accomplishments, would be able to make peace with an increasingly militant anti-development movement.
"Bradley's won on a platform of jobs, prosperity and growth," said Dan Garcia, president of the City Planning Commission and one of Bradley's most trusted advisers. "His success has been based on a wedding of business and labor that allowed him to rebuild a downtown that was either blighted or level.
"Given that platform, I'm not sure the mayor can change his stripes and suddenly call for no growth," Garcia said. "On the other hand, he obviously can't ignore traffic congestion or the relationship of traffic and development."
Garcia said he does not believe that there is enough public disapproval of Bradley's policies to jeopardize the broad base of support that has kept him in the mayor's office 14 years.
"I just don't see it, and I go to all the meetings where these issues are discussed," Garcia said. "I'm telling you, if you ask the average citizen of East Los Angeles what he thinks about the typical Westside attitude about limiting growth, he'll tell you it stinks."
The elections made it clear, however, that the seeds of an anti-development coalition are sprinkled in a number of areas around the city where voters have not traditionally seen eye to eye.
On the Westside, Galanter capitalized on a revolt against mushrooming office development that united Republicans in Westchester with liberal Democrats in Venice.
In the north San Fernando Valley, as different from the Westside as a Dodge pickup is from a BMW, Councilman Joel Wachs, a gay rights booster, gun control advocate and dyed-in-the-wool urban liberal, won big in a conservative semi-rural district by pitching his campaign to an anti-development majority.
And in the inner-city 10th District, where crime and economic revitalization dominated the campaign, the issue of growth also provoked lively debate. While Broome, Bradley's candidate, hewed to the mayor's line on development, Holden called for a tougher stand against some aspects of commercialism, such as liquor stores, auto body shops and corner shopping centers.
Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, a leader of the council's slow-growth faction and a possible candidate for mayor in two years, said new alliances forming around the development issue are overshadowing the city's most durable coalition, the amalgam of Westside Jews and Southside blacks that coalesced around issues of poverty, civil rights and racial injustice and was instrumental in carrying Bradley to power.
"I look at the issues that united several of us on the council four, five, six years ago, and they are just not there now," said Yaroslavsky. As an example, he cited his successful effort to win council approval of an ordinance giving people access to files kept on them by the intelligence division of the Los Angeles Police department.
"That's not the kind of issue that commands much attention these days," he said.
Others, like Garcia, warn that the new politics of growth and development could wrench the city apart if a predominantly white middle-class constituency is able to parlay the anti-development movement into a citywide power base.
Referring to the intensity of the Westside movement against development, Garcia said that if people there "controlled our destiny, we would have racial tension and joblessness like nothing we have seen since the Watts riots."
The election results in the 6th District, with an ethnic diversity that to some degree mirrors the city, provides an example of how issues of the day can polarize voters.
A post-election analysis shows that Russell ran extremely well in black neighborhoods, polling 100% in some precincts, with her greatest strength in areas where Bradley's influence would be most helpful.
She did poorest, receiving only 18% of the votes, in Westchester, where the effect of new development is most pronounced and where white middle-class voting strength is greatest.
Ironically, Westchester is the neighborhood where Russell has lived for many years.
Staff writers Janet Clayton, Victor Merina and Bill Boyarsky contributed to this article. THE VOTE LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL District 2
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % Joel Wachs (inc)* 9,327 64.9 Jerry Allan Hays 4,214 29.3 Georgetta Wilmeth 431 2.9 Jack E. Davis 399 2.7
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % John Ferraro (inc)* 10,775 81.8 Sal Genovese 2,391 18.1
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % *Pat Russell (inc) 10,697 42.2 *Ruth Galanter 7,435 29.3 Patrick McCartney 4,245 16.7 Virginia Taylor Hughes 1,238 4.8 Rimmon C. Fay 1,207 4.7 Salvatore Grammatico 521 2.0
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % Robert Farrell (inc)* 8,347 54.5 Tony Parent 3,013 19.6 Mervin Evans 1,148 7.4 Earlene W. James 1,062 6.9 John S. Jackson 950 6.2 Alice M. Moore 793 5.1
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % *Nate Holden 4,366 21.1 *Homer Broome Jr. 3,257 15.7 Myrlie Evers 2,601 12.5 Geneva Cox 2,813 13.6 Arthur Song Jr. 2,225 10.7 Kenneth M. Orduna 2,015 9.7 Jessie Mae Beavers 1,466 7.0 Denise G. Fairchild 1,108 5.3 Jordan Daniels Jr. 379 1.8 Grover P. Walker 161 0.8 Ramona R. Whitney 106 0.5 Esther M. Lofton 106 0.5 William A. Weaver 74 0.3
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % Hal Bernson (inc)* 11,763 79.8 Richard K. Williams II 2,963 20.2
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % Richard Alatorre (inc)* 6,626 60.0 Rex Gutierrez 3,188 28.9 Loren Leonard Lutz 1,213 11.0
LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES District 1
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % *Wallace Knox 72,822 38.0 *Patricia Hollingsworth 42,386 22.1 M. F. Richman (inc) 33,541 17.5 William Orozco 28,134 14.7 Deborah S. Le Blanc 14,540 7.6
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % *M. A. Hudson (inc) 92,341 49.1 *Julia L. Wu 42,224 22.4 Bernard Friedman 36,487 19.4 Marjorie Ann Davis 16,986 9.0
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % Harold W. Garvin (inc)* 116,419 62.5 Frank Mazzi 39,055 20.9 Mark MacCarley 30,689 16.4
99% Precincts Reporting Votes % *David Lopez-Lee 71,584 38.0 *Richard E. Ferraro 43,842 23.2 Elizabeth M. Rowen 19,994 10.6 Carmen E. Luna 19,306 10.2 Noel Stone 15,308 8.1 Douglas Lasken 12,804 6.8 Zakary Zeitlin 5,428 2.8
LOS ANGELES UNIFIED BOARD OF EDUCATION District 1
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % Rita D. Walters (inc)* 31,456 69.1 Mark Ridley-Thomas 9,685 21.2 Annie N. Richardson 2,726 5.9 Dorothy Rugley 1,606 3.5
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % Jackie Goldberg (inc)* 12,788 63.9 Tony Trias 4,207 21.0 Howard O. Watts 2,994 14.9
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % *Julie Korenstein 7,629 24.6 *Barbara Romey 7,088 22.9 George St. Johns 3,958 12.8 Bunny Field 3,706 11.9 Douglas J. Wolf 3,156 10.2 Marilynn M. Neville 2,852 9.2 Mark Isler 2,512 8 .1
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % Leticia Quezada* 9,242 55.9 Raul Ruiz 4,430 26.8 Frank Tamayo 2,850 17.2
100% Precincts Reporting Votes % Warren Furutani* 11,257 51.0 J.R. Greenwood (inc) 10,810 48.9
Elected candidates are in Bold, and have an asterisk (*) after their name. * in front of the name indicates runoff candidates. Results compiled by Meg Burby, Alma Cook, Norman Duarte, Bill McElhaney and Sharon Skelton.
THE VOTE ON PAT RUSSELL Los Angeles City Councilwoman Pat Russell was pushed into a runoff largely because of campaigning against her stand favoring growth and development. Here's a look at the vote in three key areas within District 6:
Candidate Total Westchester Venice Crenshaw Pat Russell 42.2% 18% 15% 71% Ruth Galanter 29.3% 38% 56% 7% Others 28.5% 44% 29% 22%