D'Agostino Fails to Qualify for L.A. Council Race


Lea Purwin D'Agostino, a top contender for the 5th District Los Angeles City Council seat, was disqualified from the race Monday after election officials concluded that she had failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the April ballot.

The decision followed a ruling by a Superior Court judge who ordered election officials to accept 24 signatures that were not previously counted because they either did not match voting records or were turned in late.

Despite the decision by Judge Robert H. O'Brien, election officials said D'Agostino's nomination petition had 465 valid signatures, 35 signatures short of the 500 required.

D'Agostino could not be reached for comment, but she previously had accused election officials of being "hyper technical" for rejecting signatures of residents who had moved to new addresses within the district but had failed to note the new addresses with election officials.

D'Agostino, a deputy district attorney, was considered a significant factor in the race because she had the endorsement of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the rank and file of the Los Angeles Police Department.

A union spokesman said he was disappointed that D'Agostino would not be on the ballot. He added that union leaders will meet Wednesday to consider whether to endorse another candidate in the district, which encompasses portions of the Westside and West San Fernando Valley.

Monday's decision cuts the field of contenders to four: Jeff Brain, a Sherman Oaks businessman; Mike Feuer, the former head of a legal clinic; Roberta Weintraub, former Los Angeles school board president, and Barbara Yaroslavsky, a Westside activist and wife of Zev Yaroslavsky, the former councilman who represented the district for 19 years before resigning in December to take a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

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