Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Nury Martinez makes appearance at City Hall, supporters take victory lap

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Former Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nury Martinez defeated former Assemblywoman Cindy Montañez in Tuesday's special election to fill the Sixth District Los Angeles City Council seat.

L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson runs the show at City Hall — from presentations to deals to votes — and even when things don’t go his way, he tries to make up for it in conspicuous fashion.

That was the scene Friday at the Los Angeles City Council meeting where Sixth District Councilwoman-elect Nury Martinez made an appearance. Earlier this week, Wesson congratulated Martinez’s high-profile supporters and today he gave them the floor to make speeches about themselves and Martinez.

Actually, he did so after publicly calling himself “an idiot” for endorsing Martinez's opponent, Cindy Montañez, and telling Martinez — the only female on the 15-member council — that she will be in charge of Women’s Day at City Hall.

The first supporter to take the floor was U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas, who represented the Sixth District in the San Fernando Valley until he joined Congress  in January. 

"Today I get to look across to one of the most incredible, dynamic human beings," said Cardenas, "and a woman who is far more courageous than me, a lot tougher, a lot smarter, a lot stronger." 

Also in attendance was State Senator Alex Padilla, a former member of the Los Angeles City Council who is now running for secretary of state. Padilla's former chief of staff, Felipe Fuentes, is now a member of the council. His former chief of staff, Raul Bocanegra, took over Fuentes' seat in the Assembly and he, too, was at City Hall to congratulate Martinez. (Need a scorecard?)

Padilla has known Martinez since high school. He told the audience, "how lucky you all are, how lucky the city of L.A. is, how lucky we are that Nury's going to be serving for a long, long time."

Martinez was elected to serve the last two years of Cardenas’ term. She will then be eligible to serve three four-year terms. She won Tuesday's election with 5,485  votes — out of the district's 89,118 registered voters.

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