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From the Archives: 1973 Tom Bradley-Sam Yorty debate

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May 8, 1973: Los Angeles City Councilman Tom Bradley, right, speaks during debate with Mayor Sam Yorty at the Tarzana Chamber of Commerce.
(Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times)

In a bitter 1969 mayoral race, incumbent Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty beat City Councilman Thomas Bradley. In their 1973 sequel, nothing changed except the final results.

Political writer Carl Greenberg reported in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times:

Mayor Sam Yorty and City Councilman Tom Bradley, who wagged an occasional scolding finger at the mayor, hurled new accusations at each other Tuesday in the third face-to-face “debate” of the mayoral campaign.

In some respects it was a replay of their Monday night angry exchange of personal attacks on television.

At one point during their appearance at a Tarzana Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Torches West Restaurant, some of the estimated 300 guests booed when Yorty revived his recital that two nephews of Bradley had sued him for allegedly trying to defraud them of their father’s estate. …

Yorty was booed when he said if Bradley could not be trusted by his dead brother’s sons, “What do you think he’d do as mayor?” …

The councilman also injected the name of John Alessio again. This time referring to the former racetrack operator in prison on income tax charges, Bradley asked Yorty:

“Do you remember when John Alessio took a flight to Texas and lost an envelope with money in it and Bob Goe flew down and returned the money. That’s pretty good service.”

Goe once served as an executive assistant to Yorty and as his director of urban development. He resigned several years ago.

On Monday night, Bradley had attacked Yorty for visiting Alessio in the federal prison at Lompoc. …

Bradley beat Yorty in the May 29, 1973, runoff election with 56% of the vote.

This post was originally published on April 13, 2016.

May 30, 1973: A beaming Tom Bradley takes a question at a news conference on day after his trumph of
May 30, 1973: A beaming Tom Bradley takes a question at a news conference on day after his trumph of Sam Yorty in race for Los Angeles Mayor. Bill Varie / Los Angeles Times

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