Three people, including the incumbent's chief-of- staff and a former mayoral aide, filed papers today indicating their intentions to run for termed-out Councilman Tom LaBonge's seat in 2015.
The candidates are seeking to represent the Fourth Council District, which runs from Hancock Park to Hollywood and includes Toluca Lake, Los Feliz, Sherman Oaks and Windsor Square. LaBonge has represented the district for the last 14 years since winning a special election to take over for late Councilman John Ferraro, who died in office. LaBonge was a field deputy for Ferraro.
Candidates can start raising money 18 months before an election. Today was the earliest a candidate can start soliciting contributions for the March 3, 2015, election, though candidates cannot officially file as a candidate for the election until November 2014.
Carolyn Ramsay, LaBonge's chief-of-staff, and Teddy Davis, who served as a press secretary during the final three years of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's term, filed fundraising paperwork with the city's Ethics Commission. Political newcomer Tara Bannister also filed paperwork.
Ramsay said she is "excited to be running" for the district seat where she has been involved for the past dozen years as a community activist and council staffer.
Ramsay, a former journalist, became a community activist to create more green space in and around her neighborhood. She said she hopes to "bring innovative ideas" to the job.
Ramsay said she was the "point person" in the purchase of the Cahuenga Peak that added 138 acres to Griffith Park in 2010. She also led the effort to place a median on the north end of Larchmont Boulevard, she said.
"I love the work I'm doing" as a staffer and previously as an activist, she said. "I felt like I was able to make positive change in my city -- that is the most thrilling experience I've had professionally, working as a problem solver and consensus builder ... I want to continue be a part of it."
The 35-year-old Davis called LaBonge a "friend" and said he would be "building on the work that (LaBonge has) done in the district."
"I'm running for City Council because I want L.A. to work for every family in every neighborhood," Davis said. "Between now and 2015, I will be in every corner of our district talking with voters about how we can create jobs, reduce traffic and keep neighborhoods clean and safe."
One of his top priorities would be to push for improved public transportation connecting the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, Davis said.
Davis said he has a "very specific, intense connection" to the district, having grown up in Los Feliz and attending school until the 12th grade in Sherman Oaks.
He is a fellow with USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and previously covered national politics for ABC News.
Meanwhile, David Hernandez filed papers seeking the Second District seat in the 2015 election.
—City News Service