L.A. Votes: Mayoral candidates skip overt attacks, focus on education

Mayoral candidates Wendy Gruel and Eric Garcetti after a candidate forum at Macedonia Baptist Church.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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After months of slashing at each other’s integrity and trustworthiness, mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti largely put aside their differences with one week left before the May 21 election as they supported non-controversial education policy changes before Los Angeles school leaders on Tuesday.

The school district decided to retain a program that provides students breakfast in classrooms and to discontinue a policy of suspending students for “willful defiance,” proposals that Greuel supported as she testified at the Los Angeles Unified School District. The board also halted the closing of a school for aviation mechanics at Van Nuys Airport by approving a dollar-a-year lease for the campus, a cause that Garcetti has championed.

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The respite might not last. Wednesday is the latest fundraising deadline, with public reports about the candidates’ spending habits due to be released publicly Friday. Meanwhile, the candidates are frenzied raising money while crisscrossing the city to press the flesh with voters.

In the city attorney’s race, some prominent political leaders who had shied away from publically announcing their endorsements decided to take sides. Former lawmaker Mike Feuer on Tuesday picked up the backing of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, who said she needed a partner in the city and slammed incumbent Carmen Trutanich for what she called a false campaign mailer.

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Over the weekend, Trutanich added City Council members Jan Perry and Bernard C. Parks to his list of endorsements. The Perry nod was surprising, given the councilwoman’s and Trutanich’s vigorous battles over billboards and whether entertainment giant AEG should be forced to pick up the city’s costs related to the public memorial for Michael Jackson.

Comments, questions or tips on city elections? Tweet me at @LATSeema



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