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Major women's group backs Eric Garcetti for mayor

Eric Garcetti was endorsed Tuesday by the California National Organization for Women PAC.
Eric Garcetti was endorsed Tuesday by the California National Organization for Women PAC.
Howard Pasamanick

The California chapter of the National Organization for Women endorsed Eric Garcetti Tuesday in his bid to become Los Angeles’ next mayor.

NOW declined to endorse either of the leading female candidates – Jan Perry and Wendy Greuel. Los Angeles has never had a female mayor. 

The NOW chapter’s president, Patricia Bellasalma, pointed to Garcetti’s work on domestic violence and gender equality as the basis of the endorsement.

“We asked which candidate has the vision needed to move Los Angeles forward and who would be most willing to create a more equal playing field for the city’s almost 2 million women and girls. The answer to that question – without hesitation – was Eric Garcetti,” she said.

RELATED: Los Angeles 2013 Mayoral Race Endorsements

Last May, Greuel's campaign announced the formation of "Women for Wendy," a committee that the candidate said would help "get one step closer to breaking that glass ceiling and electing our city’s first woman mayor.” 

Greuel's  campaign director, Rose Kapolczynski, responded to the NOW endorsement with this statement:

"Wendy Greuel has been a champion for equality and opportunity for women across Los Angeles for decades, and is supported by hundreds of women across Los Angeles, including U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Congresswoman Janice Hahn, and prominent women leaders Peg Yorkin, Cathy Unger, and Kathy Spillar. Wendy will be a mayor for all of Los Angeles, and she'll continue to help aspiring women succeed in politics and at all levels of society."

NOW's Bellasalma told KPCC: “Obviously we are looking forward to the day that we see 50 percent representation across all levels of political life, but we also embrace the much necessary feminist men that are our partners in shepherding in a more equal and just society."

“Being a woman is important but it certainly isn’t the only factor, obviously, in our endorsement process.”

The spring primary is set for March 5.