The Los Angeles City Council on Friday said goodbye to Tony Cardenas, who is leaving the council after nine years to serve in Washington, D.C.
The councilman will resign his seat on Jan. 2. The next day he will be sworn into Congress as a representative from the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley. Cardenas was joined by his wife Norma as state and city leaders spoke on his behalf in the council chamber.
“Some of us get so consumed in public life, so consumed and driven by this responsibility, that we forget the other side of our life — the family life," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "Tony’s never forgotten that, and that’s important because that’s what drives him."
Cardenas was elected to represent the San Fernando Valley’s Sixth District in 2003. That was after his unsuccessful run for the council’s Second District in 2002. He lost that race to Wendy Greuel. Today, the City Controller and mayoral candidate — whom Cardenas has endorsed — was among the speakers praising the congressman-elect.
“What I most admired about you in that first campaign was your passion," said Greuel, "and the fact is that I knew you were a dedicated leader in the state."
A special election will be held to fill the district’s vacancy. The primary is set for May, with a runoff in July.