Endorsements in the Los Angeles City Council’s Ninth District race poured in Wednesday, with a sitting councilman backing one candidate and another candidate picking up support from a former rival.
L.A City Councilman Bernard Parks endorsed Ana Cubas. Former candidate David Roberts, a former Parks staff member who received 10 percent of the vote in the primary, backed State Sen. Curren Price.
The Ninth District is a South L.A. seat that also includes L.A. Live and USC. The median household income is $12,000. That’s in contrast to the city average of $50,000. Price finished first in the March 5 primary with 27 percent of the vote, according to the City Clerk’s Office. Cubas placed second with 24 percent.
Parks’ endorsement of Cubas is not surprising. Last year, he and Price publicly argued over redistricting. The dispute appeared to start when Price supported redrawn maps during a public hearing. This was after the Redistricting Commission had attempted to draw Parks out of the Eighth District he represents.
In response, Parks sent out an e-mail to constituents with the headline: “The Price is Wrong, Curren!” He went on to write:
For those of you who don't know Curren (and that's probably most of you), he's the State Senator of the 26th District and probably best known for his ability and, dare I say talent, to remain solidly grounded on both sides of any issue. I've been in city government almost 50 years, and that's a pretty hard one to pull off.
In endorsing Cubas, Parks said she is “exactly the kind of person the Ninth District needs to meet its challenges. And is clearly the best and only choice.”
Parks becomes the second African-American politician to endorse Cubas, who is Latina. Former City Councilwoman Rita Walters also endorsed Cubas, who could become the first Central American to serve on the council. If elected, she would end a long line of African-Americans who have represented the district.
Price recently accused Cubas of using race to divide voters. He was criticized for his comments and reportedly recanted them in a meeting this week with Cubas that was orchestrated by City Council President Herb Wesson.
Roberts applauded Price for “forward-thinking, collaborative leadership.” Roberts is a former member of the state senator’s Workforce, Training and Development Task Force. He worked as an economic development director for Parks.
The runoff is scheduled for May 21.