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Holden Backed by No. 3 Finisher in Council Race

Times Staff Writer

Geneva Cox, who finished a surprising third in the primary election for the Los Angeles City Council’s 10th District seat, gave her backing Saturday to Nate Holden and urged her “army” of supporters to work for the former state senator in the June 2 runoff.

Cox, who ran a formidable grass-roots campaign for the April primary, rejected a similar endorsement appeal by Holden’s opponent--former Public Works Commissioner Homer Broome Jr.

In lauding the former state senator, Cox said she was abiding by a secret ballot of 93 of her closest supporters taken last week to determine whom she should back. Only two of those votes went to Broome, Cox said at a Saturday news conference.

‘Ran a Clean Race’

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“We ran a clean race, but we were only interested in good government,” she said. “And we think we can carry on good government under the leadership of Nate Holden.”

Cox added that she was turning over her old campaign headquarters and staff to Holden, the first-place finisher in the April primary with 21% of the vote. After a recount demanded by Cox failed to alter the results, both political camps fought for her support.

Holden, who accompanied Cox at the news conference at her mid-city headquarters, called the endorsement “one of the finest moments of my life” and said her support could help swing what many feel will be a close election between two men backed by powerful political interests in a largely black council district.

Broome is supported by Mayor Tom Bradley, City Council President Pat Russell and such officeholders as Rep. Julian C. Dixon (D-Los Angeles) and Los Angeles school board President Rita Walters. Holden, in turn, is backed by Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and his son, City Atty. James K. Hahn, as well as by seven other council candidates who ran against him in the primary.

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The Cox endorsement, however, is considered one of the most significant in a council district that stretches from the mid-city and Southwest Los Angeles area westward to Palms. As a former chief field deputy to Councilman David Cunningham--whose resignation last October triggered the scramble for his successor--Cox relied on a strong cadre of volunteers who walked precincts and organized neighborhood block clubs on her behalf.

Despite little name recognition and meager financial support, the organization of volunteers--dubbed “Cox’s Army” by her opponents--drummed up enough votes in the primary to enable their candidate to outdistance several other candidates with stronger political backing and more money.

Broome admitted Saturday that he had “tried very hard for (the Cox) endorsement” and described her as a “formidable” foe. But he added: “It’s hard to really tell how transferable that support is.”


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