CITY NEWS SERVICE
The number of candidates seeking to fill the open San Pedro-to-Watts seat on the Los Angeles City Council has swelled to 17, the city clerk’s website showed Thursday.
The field could end up being even larger by Saturday, the deadline to file as a candidate for the 15th District seat vacated by Janice Hahn. Twenty-three people have filed paperwork with the City Ethics Commission to raise money for the Nov. 8 primary election and possible Jan. 17 runoff.
Hahn won a special congressional election in July to replace Jane Harman, who retired earlier this year to run the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a foreign policy think tank in Washington.
The field of candidates now includes two former city councilmen, Rudy Svorinich and Robert Farrell. Svorinich is essentially running as the incumbent. He represented the 15th District from 1993-1997. Farrell represented the 8th District, which includes much of South L.A., from 1974-1991.
Other frontrunners include firefighters’ union leader Pat McOsker, Assemblyman Warren Furutani and San Pedro area LAPD Officer Joe Buscaino.
Furutani, McOsker and Buscaino have each raised at least $50,000 for the campaign, a minimum that candidates have to disclose before the first campaign finance filing deadline.
With so many candidates trying to raise money from a limited pool of donors, independent expenditures are expected to play a large role in the election. Political action committees an spend unlimited amounts of money to support or oppose candidates, as long as they do not directly consult with any candidates.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a union representing Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees, has already spent nearly $49,000 to support McOsker through a PAC called Working Californians to Support McOsker for City Council 2011. The group spent $23,000 on polling and $14,365 on a mailer touting McOsker’s public safety credentials, with the rest spent on research costs.
Two of Hahn’s former staffers are running. Gordon Teuber was Hahn’s planning deputy, and Justin Brimmer was a lower-level legislative deputy.
Jayme Wilson, who owns the Ports O’Call restaurant in San Pedro, is also in the race.
Other candidates include self-described businessmen, a Realtor, community activists, a minister and an actor/director.
Candidates who file by Saturday will still have to submit petition signatures to make the ballot — a minimum of 500 signatures and a $300 filing fee, or a minimum of 1,000 signatures with no fee. The petition filing deadline is Sept. 12.