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Garcetti declares candidacy for L.A. mayor; three Jews now in race (do I hear a fourth?)

by Jonah Lowenfeld

September 8, 2011 | 5:23 pm

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, seen here presiding over a council meeting in July 2011, declared his candidacy for L.A. Mayor on Thursday. Photo by Jonah Lowenfeld

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti declared that he is running for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Times called Garcetti “the highest-profile Latino in the race,” since his father, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, is of Mexican descent.

But Eric Garcetti’s mother, Sukey Roth, is Jewish—which makes Garcetti the third Jewish candidate to enter the 2013 race to replace Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is termed out.

Three?

There’s Austin Beutner, Villaraigosa’s former “jobs czar,” who was recently asked by a blogger whether he went to church. “No, I’m Jewish,” Beutner said, “I was bar mitzvah’ed, but I don’t go. Oh, my wife is Protestant.”

And there’s L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is the only African-American candidate in the race. She converted to Judaism almost 30 years ago.

Two non-Jews round out the current field: City Controller Wendy Gruel, who raised more than any other candidate in the first half of 2011 (over $518,000), is married to the Jewish film producer (“Darfur Now,”) Dean Schramm. Kevin James, the openly gay attorney and radio host, is the only Republican in the race.

The field could become even Jewy-er if Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky declares his candidacy. The former L.A. city councilman and one-time activist on behalf of Soviet Jewry will have to give up his current job in 2014 because of term limits.

“I think [Yaroslavsky’s] absolutely, unequivocally getting in,” a political consultant told the Times on Thursday.

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