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Jewish Journal

Winners and Losers

by Tom Tugend

June 7, 2001 | 8:00 pm

While the Jewish vote apparently split down the middle in James K. Hahn's victory over Antonio Villaraigosa in the contest for mayor, there was bad news and good news for Jewish candidates in other races.

Former City Councilman Michael Feuer, who had led in the polls and early returns, was defeated in his race for city attorney. Feuer, the former director of the Bet Tzedek legal aid service, lost to Deputy Mayor Rocky Delgadillo by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

In the contest for the third citywide office, Laura Chick had already clinched election as city controller in the April primaries. Chick, a former city council-member and one-time counselor with the Jewish Family Service, is the first woman -- of any denomination -- to win a citywide election in Los Angeles.

Two victories marked the possible emergence of a new generation of young Jewish politicians.

In the affluent and influential City Council 5th District, dubbed the "District of the Stars," newcomer Jack Weiss won in an upset victory over veteran political activist and state Sen. Tom Hayden.

Weiss, a former federal prosecutor, won by a margin of 289 votes, or 0.5 percent of the total vote.

Another newcomer, Michael Waxman, son of veteran Congressman Henry Waxman, had won election to the L.A. Community College board of trustees -- a frequent springboard to higher political office -- in the primaries.

Two Jewish women contested the 4th District seat for the L.A. Unified School District's board of education, with Marlene Canter beating incumbent Valerie Fields by a 54-to-46 margin.

In the City Council race in the 3rd District, the Jewish candidate, Judith Hirshberg, lost to Dennis Zine by barely 132 votes.

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