Your guide L.A. city controller race: Paul Koretz vs. Kenneth Mejia
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There are more than a dozen candidates running in this March primary for Los Angeles City Council’s 12th District, and a number who could make it interesting to watch, including former City Councilman Paul Koretz, and Kenneth Mejia, who was an aide to former Mayor Richard Riordan for two years.
But the first of these two, if he makes it that far, is a longshot.
Paul Koretz, a veteran councilwoman from an affluent family in Pacoima, is seeking something very special: the seat of District 12 in the City Council. A former county prosecutor in Orange County, he’s the first of two Jewish candidates running for the job. His candidacy is the most serious of the three, and he’s got the backing of the local Jewish community, which would have been unthinkable two decades ago.
It’ll get more serious from here on out: the race for District 12 is shaping up to be as close as any in years.
The most likely of the three Jewish candidates to advance to the runoff is Kenneth Mejia. He’s a former aide to Mayor Richard Riordan. That could make him a heavy favorite in the March 13 primary. (Mejia is now running for City Council.)
Paul Koretz, who was the council president when Riordan became mayor in 1991 and helped him win his first term in 1995, is still running.
It’s going to take a dramatic fall from grace for one of them.
If you’re wondering—though probably not—why Riordan, a political neophyte, would run for city controller, the answer is: It’s a job that’s important to him.
In Los Angeles, it’s the No. 1 job that needs handling. As much as we love our public employees, they have trouble keeping up with the city’s ever-changing demands. According to a recent report by the Council on Budget and Finance, the controller in L.A. County alone has a budget shortfall of $200 million.