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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

LA Mayor: Antonio Villaraigosa Wins

Posted by Bob Brigham

I tend to think of campaigns as a science as much as an art. For you scientists, my question is whether there is any possible scenario where Antonio Villaraigosa could lose after this assist?

LOS ANGELES - Basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor Monday, giving the challenger one of the race's prized endorsements and another A-list supporter in the politically crucial black community.

Johnson played for Hahn last time, but no more...

One of Southern California's most popular figures and now a successful businessman, Johnson endorsed Hahn over Villaraigosa in their runoff four years ago, part of a surge of black support that helped secure Hahn's victory in 2001.

Showing once again he has political game, Johnson explains:

Speaking at one of his health clubs in the San Fernando Valley, Johnson's announcement became as much a denunciation of Mayor James Hahn's leadership as an embrace of Villaraigosa's candidacy. The former Los Angeles Lakers star said the administration had been crippled by an ongoing corruption investigation.

"You can't point to the Hahn administration and find 10 things he has accomplished because he was so bogged down by the scandal situation," Johnson said. "The city was not moving forward." [...]

Johnson was outraged, like many blacks, when Hahn helped push out the city's black police chief, Bernard Parks, in 2002. There were other problems, too — most important, Hahn's failure to do more to create jobs, Johnson said.

"I expected him to be like his dad, and that didn't happen," Johnson said, referring to late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, a revered figure in the Los Angeles black community.

This is getting the play in the news it deserves. This is all-star. This is a done deal.

Posted at 09:05 AM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati