Los Angeles mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa was endorsed last week by local Congresswoman Jane Harman as he introduced his Homeland Security Plan, designed to protect the city against acts of terrorism.
Harman joined the candidate Thursday, March 31st, at the Trask Triangle in Playa del Rey — Trask Avenue and Waterview Street.
Harman endorsed James Hahn for mayor four years ago, when Hahn and Villaraigosa faced each other in the mayoral runoff.
Villaraigosa and Hahn are again in a runoff Tuesday, May 17th, for a four-year mayoral term that will begin July 1st.
Harman said she is supporting Villaraigosa for mayor because he will be a “partner on security matters.”
“He understands the need to focus more resources and attention on keeping our people safe,” Harman said of Villaraigosa.
“I have confidence in his integrity and leadership skills,” the congresswoman said.
Harman said many things have happened since she endorsed Hahn four years ago and she has become dissatisfied with the mayor’s handling of security issues at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), considered the top terrorist target in the state.
“The people living near the number-one terrorist target in California will know they will have a mayor who will work with the congressional delegation and federal officials to make LAX more secure and make L.A. safer,” Harman said of Villaraigosa.
Villaraigosa said the Harman endorsement is “especially significant” because Harman is “one of the most distinguished members of Congress and works with leaders on both sides of the aisle to get things done.”
Villaraigosa has been endorsed by other local members of Congress, including Maxine Waters, who represents Westchester, and Henry Waxman.
In the March 8th primary election, Villaraigosa received 33.1 percent of the vote to Hahn’s 23.6 percent.
Villaraigosa said that, as mayor, he would make public safety one of his top priorities.
“I’m running for mayor because I believe I have the leadership and ability to build consensus to get things done,” Villa- raigosa said at the March 31st Playa del Rey event.
Villaraigosa said he opposes Hahn’s $11 billion modernization plan for LAX because it does not propose an increase in security and does not move toward a regional airport system.
HAHN GETS HOLDEN VOTE — On the same day Villaraigosa was endorsed by Harman, Hahn was endorsed by former Los Angeles councilman Nate Holden.
“I know both candidates and Jim Hahn is by far the best qualified to lead the city for the next four years,” Holden said.
Hahn has said his plan is essential to improving security at the airport.