LA City Council President Garcetti announces run for mayor

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Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti delivers a speech during a press conference to launch a new Muslim-Jewish Partnership Program in Los Angeles on March 8, 2007.

Democratic Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti’s announcement that he’s running for mayor came as no surprise. The fourth generation Angeleno filed candidacy papers Thursday morning.

"It’s a city that right now I think needs a vision that inspires us, but also gets things done," he told KPCC on Thursday.

Garcetti said in a written statement that he'll bring to the job "focused leadership based on experience, practical know-how, and a willingness to embrace innovation."

Garcetti has already played a fictional L.A. mayor on TNT's "The Closer."

Garcetti co-chaired Barack Obama’s California campaign for president; he’s an executive committee member of the Democratic National Committee and received the New Frontier Award, given to one elected official in the country under 40 who best embodies the leadership and idealism of John F. Kennedy.

Garcetti was first elected to the city council in 2001. He represents a district that includes Hollywood, Los Feliz, Echo Park and Glassell Park. He cannot run for his seat again because of term limits.

Garcetti enters a field that includes fellow councilmember Jan Perry, among others. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky is said to still be deciding whether he will run.

Garcetti becomes the environment and progressive candidate in the race, said Jaime Regalado, political analyst and director of the Edmund G. "Pat'' Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles.

At the same time, Regalado said, Garcetti can pull support from labor unions and building trades. "That's important because the`hard hats' of labor have not gotten along very well with environmentalists in the past,'' he said.

Because of Garcetti's history of pushing sustainable development, Regalado said, he might be the kind of candidate who can walk the thin line between the two camps.

Garcetti also speaks the most fluent Spanish of any major candidate in the race, which could be an advantage for him since Latinos account for one-fourth of primary voters and one-third of general election voters.

"At the end of the day, I’m just a guy from Los Angeles who loves this city and wants it to be a great city again,” Garcetti told KPCC's Alex Cohen on Thursday.

Correction: Yaroslavsky has not yet announced that he will run for mayor, as was mistakenly stated in the original story.

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