Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks has hired another prominent gun in his campaign to unseat Mayor James Hahn.
Last week, Parks brought on Carol Butler as his campaign manager, adding to the team that already included nationally known consultants Chris Lehane and Eric Jaye. Most of the other L.A. mayoral candidates have hired local consultants.
Lehane was communications director for John Kerry's presidential campaign last year. (He quit before Kerry's string of primary victories began, reportedly after lobbying Kerry unsuccessfully to take a more aggressive stance toward then-frontrunner Howard Dean.) Then he briefly joined the presidential campaign of Gen. Wesley Clark. Jaye is a Bay Area Democratic strategist who helped guide Gavin Newsom's successful campaign for mayor of San Francisco and before that, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's campaign.
Together, Jaye and Lehane helped craft Parks' "anti-Hahn" strategy on key issues like the LAX overhaul and the mayor's decision to implement a three-day, 12-hour-per-day workweek for LAPD officers. The strategy has given Parks a lot of free media and helped raise his profile.
While Jaye and Lehane continue helping to refine the message, Butler who has run U.S. Senate races in Michigan, Oregon and Texas will handle day-to-day operations. She will focus on building grass-roots support and boosting fundraising, she said. As of Sept. 30, Parks had raised $400,000, far less than rivals Hahn, City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa and former state Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg.
In contrast with Parks, Villaraigosa and Hertzberg are relying on local help.
Villaraigosa's campaign is run by Parke Skelton, who ran his 2001 race and has been on the local political scene for 25 years.
Hertzberg's campaign manager, John Shallman, has also been focused on helping locals get elected to office, most notably Orange County's Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
Hahn's campaign manager, Bill Carrick, has been a national strategist, most recently running the media campaign for Missouri Democrat Rep. Richard Gephardt's failed run for his party's presidential nomination.
Carrick led Hahn's successful 2001 mayoral campaign, the campaign against San Fernando Valley secession and campaigns for U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan.
The other major mayoral candidate, Sen. Richard Alarcon, has hired statewide Democrat consultant Richie Ross to run his campaign. Ross most recently ran Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante's failed bid for governor in the recall campaign.
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