CITY NEWS SERVICE
Voters from Watts to San Pedro will cast ballots Tuesday in a special election to fill the 15th District City Council seat vacated by Janice Hahn in July.
Hahn, who served two-and-a-half terms on the council, won a special congressional election in July to replace Jane Harman, who stepped down earlier this year to run a foreign policy think tank in Washington.
Eleven candidates will appear on the ballot. They include a firefighter, a police officer, an Assemblyman, several business owners, a Realtor, a former city councilman and two members of Janice Hahn’s council staff. Four people have qualified as write-in candidates.
The candidates and outside groups have spent $1.9 million on mailings, billboards, TV ads, yard signs and more to sway voters in the heavily Democratic district.
With so many candidates on the ballot, the election is likely to proceed to a Jan. 17 runoff between the top two vote-getters.
The candidates have jockeyed for prominent endorsements from influential politicians and powerful unions.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced his support for Assemblyman Warren Furutani in mid-July. Furutani also received endorsements from a handful of labor unions representing government workers and the Teamsters, as well as the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.
Political action committees set up by the Service Employees International Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have spent a combined $374,000 to support Pat McOsker’s campaign, more than five times the next highest spending committee.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League spent $72,285 to support Los Angeles police officer Joe Buscaino.
Rudy Svorinich, a registered lobbyist, benefits from name recognition. Svorinich held the now-open seat for two terms before Hahn.
The City Clerk’s Office held a random drawing to determine the order of appearance on the ballot. The qualifying candidates will appear in the following order:
— Frank Pereyda, businessman
— Jayme Wilson, businessman, community leader
— Gordon Teuber, Hahn’s economic director
— Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles police officer
— Justin I. Brimmer, Los Angeles legislative deputy
— Rebecca Chambliss, Realtor
— Pat McOsker, firefighter/labor leader
— Warren Furutani, Assemblyman
— M. “Candice” Graham, community activist, businesswoman
— Rudy Svorinich Jr., small business owner
— John M. Delgado Jr., businessman
The four certified write-in candidates are James T. Law, Timothy “Dream” Weaver, Robert Farrell and Emery D. Soos.
Of 102,976 registered voters in the district 7,266 had mailed in their ballots as of early Monday afternoon. A total of 21,169 ballots had been mailed out.