The Times endorsement for the March 7 primary election comes as a bit of a surprise in that Bray-Ali, 37, has no experience as an elected official, while Cedillo, 62, was first elected to the seat in 2013 and has also served in the Assembly and state Senate.
But despite his lack of experience, The Times board wrote that Bray- Ali’s “understanding of land-use policy is impressive for someone who has never worked in City Hall, and his experience running a small business in the city will make him a rare and important voice on the council.”
The Times board did note that Cedillo has a major fundraising advantage, as he has raised $355,917 through Jan. 21, while Bray-Ali has raised $50,396 and received $54,922 in matching funds.
There are two other candidates in the race — Jesus Rosas, who has raised no money, and Giovanny Hernandez, who has raised $7,359.
“This is a huge validation of the campaign we are running and will help us persuade voters that there is a better way,” Bray-Ali said in an email to supporters.
As to its rejection of Cedillo, the board said it was disappointed with his record on development, which has become a hot-button issue at City Hall over the last year as The Times has published several investigative stories on the big donations some deep-pocketed developers have made to the city’s elected leaders while seeking special zoning permissions on their projects.
“Cedillo has a reputation among community activists as someone hell-bent on helping developers build market-rate housing while paying little regard for the more prosaic concerns of the neighborhoods,” The Times board wrote.
“This disinterest in the community is troubling; even more so is his indifference to the displacement of low-income constituents. (He called displacement in his district an `urban myth’ in a meeting with the editorial board. The city’s own data show it is not.)”
Cedillo’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request to comment.
Bray-Ali’s Times endorsement is the first for a non-incumbent in the city election, although the board has not weighed in on every race. The board gave endorsements to Councilman Mike Bonin in the 11th District race and Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The board also endorsed Councilman Bob Blumenfield in the 3rd Council District, Controller Ron Galperin and City Attorney Mike Feuer, although all three are running unopposed.
–City News Service
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