3 Councilmen, 5 Challengers File for Valley Seats : Elections: As expected, Bernson, Ferraro and Wachs formally declare they each will seek a final term.


As the filing period began Wednesday for candidates seeking a seat on the Los Angeles City Council, three incumbents representing San Fernando Valley districts officially declared they will run for reelection.

As expected, Councilmen Joel Wachs, Hal Bernson and John Ferraro were among eight candidates who filed notices Wednesday to run for the three Valley seats. The primaries will be held April 11 and the runoffs on June 6.

Wachs, a 24-year council veteran, represents a district that stretches from Studio City to Sunland; Bernson, who has spent 15 years on the council, represents the northwest Valley communities of Chatsworth, Northridge, Porter Ranch and Granada Hills; Ferraro, a 28-year council veteran, represents a district that runs from North Hollywood to West Hollywood.

Because of term limit laws, this will be the last time all three incumbents will be eligible to seek reelection.


The seven-day filing period officially kicks off the campaign for a total of seven council posts citywide, four seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education and four seats on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.

The most hotly contested spring race is expected to be the campaign to fill the council seat left vacant when Zev Yaroslavsky resigned in December after being elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Two years remain in that council term.

Because the council delayed declaring that it will hold a special election for Yaroslavsky’s seat, the filing period for that race does not begin until Jan. 25, and it ends Jan. 30.

However, nearly a dozen candidates had already filed documents with city ethics officials declaring they intend to run, a necessary legal step before they can begin raising campaign funds. They include Barbara Yaroslavsky, the former councilman’s wife; Roberta Weintraub, a former school board member; Lea Purwin D’Agostino, a deputy district attorney; Michael Feuer, the former head of a legal clinic, and Jeff Brain, a realtor and Sherman Oaks activist.


By Wednesday, four candidates filed to run against Ferraro: Philip Ashamallah, a West Los Angeles engineer and composer; Clarissa Siemens, a Hancock Park businesswoman; Jacqueline Sofia Loza, a North Hollywood sales associate, and John Wardell, a businessman from the Fairfax area.

Only one candidate filed to challenge Wachs: John E. Bishop, who did not list an address or occupation on his candidacy form.

No one has filed to challenge Bernson.