With term limits and political ambitions creating a number of open offices, the March 5 city election is drawing a varied field of candidates.
Saturday was the deadline for filing for the citywide elections. The races are drawing Sacramento politicians and numerous City Hall staffers angling to move up the ladder.
In the race for mayor, 14 candidates have taken out declarations of intent to run to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The next step for all the candidates is to get nominating petitions submitted by Dec. 10.
Among those who declared for mayor are City Controller Wendy Greuel, Councilman Eric Garcetti, Councilwoman Jan Perry and former federal prosecutor and talk show host Kevin James.
Reflecting the rotation between City Hall and Sacramento that has been common in the term limit era, numerous Assembly members are eying City Council seats.
Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is seeking the 3rd District seat, being vacated by City Councilman Dennis Zine, who is now running for city controller. Another Sacramento figure, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, is seeking the 7th Council District seat, which is being vacated by City Councilman Richard Alarcón.
And Assemblyman Mike Davis is running for City Councilman Jan Perry's 9th district seat, while Assemblyman Gil Cedillo is eyeing Councilman Ed Reyes' former 1st District seat.
"There seems to be a tendency for Sacramento people to come down to L.A.
Zine believes the City Council salaries, which top $170,000 a year, and the city's comfortable pensions system, are the attractions.
Among council district races, the northeast Valley's 7th Council District seat is one of the most crowded San Fernando Valley races.
In addition to Fuentes, those running include: Ricardo Antonio Benitez, small-business owner; David M. Kritzer, attorney; Jesse David Baron, housing inspector-activist; Kelley N. Chatman, children rights activist; Alma K. Martinez, mediator-city attorney; Nicole Chase, education advocate, and Krystee Clark, actor-community activist.
In the western Valley, those looking to replace Zine include Joseph "JT" Mauro, technology administrator; Steven E. Presberg, city investigator advocate; Elizabeth Badger, small business owner; Cary T. Iaccino, independent business owner; Joyce J. Pearson, certified accountant-attorney; Mack Jackson, a firefighter; and Scott Silverstein, businessman.
Meanwhile, Councilman Paul Koretz filed for re-election in the 5th Council District. He is facing challenges from Yuval Daniel Kremer, educator-residential activist; Frank Grande, sales representative; Phil Jennerjahn, political consultant, and Mark Matthew Herd, neighborhood council board member.
Familiar faces around City Hall are also filing, as staff trying to move up the ladder.
Jose Gardea, a chief deputy to City Councilman Ed Reyes, filed papers in District 1, while Ana Cubas, City Councilman Jose Huizar's longtime top aide, is running for the 9th District seat. Ana Grande, who served as district director for Alarcón, is running for City Councilman Eric Garcetti's old district.
Garcetti's district drew the largest number of contenders in any race: A total of 20 people are seeking to represent the district, which includes Hollywood.
In the city attorney race, incumbent Carmen Trutanich filed to run again following his loss for district attorney earlier this year. Challenging him are Assemblyman Mike Feuer, public safety attorney Greg Smith and attorney Noel Weiss.
Zine's competition in the city controller field includes Analilia Joya, disability advocate-teacher; Ankur Patel, student-labor organizer; Jeff Bornstein, business owner; Cary Brazeman, local company executive, and Ron Galperin, efficiency commissioner.
Aside from the City Hall races, 23 people are running for seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District board.
And 16 people are running for the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees.