Southern California breaking news and trends

Top Villaraigosa aide declares candidacy for LA City Council

Matt Szabo

Matt Szabo

Matt Szabo is running for the Los Angeles City Council's Thirteenth District. He is a longtime aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

A longtime aide to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is jumping into a crowded city council race to represent the Hollywood area.

Matt Szabo is the 13th person to declare in the Los Angeles City Council’s Thirteenth District, where Councilman Eric Garcetti is being termed out of office. Szabo is a deputy chief of staff to the mayor. He previously worked for former Mayor Richard Riordan and then-Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. 

In a four-page letter to the mayor, Szabo highlights what he sees as the administration's successes: a stable financial outlook, a more environmentally-friendly public utility, and safer streets.

"The experience I've gained working on your behalf has given me a particular skill set and knowledge base: I know how the city works, I know how it doesn't work, and I know how to make it work. And I'd like to put that to work directly for the people of this city -- and particularly for those who remain in the shadows with little or no voice in City Hall," he wrote in his letter.

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Money rolls into Los Angeles' CD13 council race

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

A candidate running for the Los Angeles City Council's Thirteenth District says his campaign has raised $110,000.

A former member of the Board of Public Works announced today that his campaign for city council has raised $110,000 in donations for the 2013 race.

John Choi’s camp announced the milestone after the fundraising window closed June 30. The city’s Ethics Commission will post detailed financial reports later this month.

“This is an incredible and humbling way to start off my campaign, I am honored to have such broad support from the community,” Choi said in a statement. “This early momentum is key, the amount of encouragement and support from family and friends has truly been overwhelming.” 

Choi is part of a crowded field running for Councilman Eric Garcetti’s seat in the Thirteenth District, which includes Hollywood, Echo Park and Silver Lake. He announced his candidacy three weeks ago. Two other candidates, Alex De Ocampo and Josh Post, have each reach raised at least $50,000, according to notices filed with the Ethics Commission.

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Former Public Works commissioner raises $50K for city council run

City Department Memorial

Michael Juliano/KPCC

John Choi, right, reached the $50,000 fundraising threshold today in his bid to be the next councilman of the Thirteenth District.

A former member of the Board of Public Works reached the $50,000 fundraising threshold today in his bid to succeed Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti. 

John Choi reached the benchmark two weeks after declaring his candidacy for the Thirteenth District, which includes Silver Lake, Echo Park and Hollywood. City council candidates are required to notify the Ethics Commission when they raise $50,000 in funds. 

“This city has given me so much and I am honored to have such broad support from the community,” Choi said. “In these two short weeks, I have been talking to Angelenos in the district and they are ready to make Los Angeles the great city we know it can be.” 

Choi was most recently the president pro tempore of the Board of Public Works. He also served as the economic development director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

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Alex De Ocampo reaches fundraising benchmark in CD13 race

Alex De Ocampo

De Ocampo Campaign

Alex De Ocampo is the first candidate to reach the $50,000 fundraising benchmark in the race for the Los Angeles City Council's Thirteenth District.

Three weeks after declaring his candidacy, a manager with the Saban Family Foundation became the first to hit a fundraising benchmark in the crowded field running for the Los Angeles City Council’s Thirteenth District.   

Alex De Ocampo has raised $50,000 as of today. City council candidates are required to notify the Ethics Commission when they collect that much in donations.

De Ocampo declared his candidacy May 29. He is one of a dozen candidates hoping to succeed Councilman Eric Garcetti, who is running for mayor. CD 13 includes Echo Park, Silver Lake and Hollywood.

De Ocampo is a member of the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council. He serves on the boards of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and Grand Performances. De Ocampo was a two-term state president of the California Young Democrats. 

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