Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Take your pick: 2 debates offer taste of Los Angeles politics Wednesday night

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

Several candidates who want to take a spot at L.A. City Hall as the city's new mayor will debate Wednesday night. Candidates for L.A. County DA are also debating.

Two debates Wednesday night offer the politically interested a chance to find out more about the candidates for mayor and the new district attorney.

One debate features two people who want to be L.A.'s top criminal prosecutor. Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson will face off at Casa Italiana in a debate sponsored by the Italian American Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.

Yes, there is such a thing.

Retired U.S. District Court Judge George Schiavelli will moderate. No-host bar at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., then the debate. The address is 1051 N. Broadway in downtown L.A.

Lacey and Jackson are vying to succeed L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley. Lacey, who serves as Cooley's second-in-command, is seeking to become the first woman and first African-American DA.

Jackson serves as a prosecutor in the DA's major crimes division and regularly appears on NBC's Unsolved Case Squad. He finished second to Lacey in the primary and faces an uphill battle after the big police unions that represent LAPD officers and sheriff's deputies endorsed Lacey.

The DA's election is in November.

The L.A. mayoral primary election isn't until March, but four candidates seeking to succeed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also debate Wednesday night.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sponsors the face-off at the Taglyan Cultural Complex (1201 Vine St., Hollywood). It starts at 6 p.m. Broadcast journalist Tracie Savage moderates.

L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel, city councilmembers Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry and talk radio host and lawyer Kevin James will be in attendance. The chamber declined to invite Emanuel Pleitez, a one-time assistant to Villaraigosa who ran for Congress two years ago and has raised little money.

It's billed as the first direct debate among the candidates, and comes on the heels of an announcement by L.A. yy Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky not to run.

Mega rich developer Rick Caruso, who built The Grove and Americana at Brand in Glendale, has yet to decide whether he'll run for mayor.

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