Poll Gives Villaraigosa Wide Lead in LA Mayor’s Race

In case you’re just tuning in, it looks like a demi-dynasty in Los Angeles is about to take a tumble. Mayor Jim Hahn is the son of Kenneth Hahn, a city councilman who represented South Central LA, which includes Watts, for many years. The mayor’s sister also currently serves on the city council.

The rap on Mayor Hahn seems to be that he is too mild – too mildly competent and as well too mildly charismatic. (His nickname is “Slim Jim.”) Antonio Villaraigosa is a former state Assembly Speaker whom Hahn defeated four years ago. Polls show Villarigosa with a commanding lead across all voter groups in the city – except the 24 percent of the electorate who are Republicans.

The Mayor’s late father was a beloved figure among his predominantly black constituents. And black voters helped put Ken Hahn’s son into the mayor’s office last time. Unfortunately for the Mayor, these voters have deserted him now. One theory holds that Mayor Hahn lost support from black voters because he fired the police chief, Bernard Parks. Parks, who is black and who worked his way up through the ranks, is now a member of the city council. Most recently, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor but lost to Hahn and Villaraigosa in the primaries.

Villaraigosa, a former labor organizer, comes across as a man on the rise, with his sights on the national stage. Speaking of which, we learned today that Antonio is fundraising in Miami, where he hopes to raise about $100,000 from Hispanic donors.


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