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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Valley Business Interests Rebuffed by Voters

Valley business interests got what you might call the political equivalent of a kiss from their sister in Tuesday’s District 4 L.A. City Council election. Political newcomer David Ryu beat Carolyn Ramsay, the candidate backed by business organizations, in the race to replace Councilman Tom LaBonge, according to provisional results released Wednesday. Ryu captured 11,200 votes to Ramsay’s 9,600 in the district that stretches from the Miracle Mile to Sherman Oaks. LaBonge was termed out after serving 14 years. As candidates, Ryu and Ramsay did not differ much on the issues, including phasing out the city’s gross receipt tax and speeding up transportation improvements in the Valley. They also agreed that the minimum wage needed to be raised. Their similarities on the issues led the L.A. County Business Federation, or BizFed, to count them among four “preferred” candidates in the March 3 primary. They ended up the two top vote getters in that race, which drew 14 candidates. So even though Ramsay ultimately lost to, Ryu was not seen as antithetical to business issues. Still, business groups had showed a clear preference in the run-off for Ramsay, who touted her experience at City Hall as the former chief of staff for LaBonge. She was supported by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson and gained the endorsements of the political action committees of BizFed, the Valley Industry & Commerce Association and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. She also had a lead on Ryu in fundraising having received $355,490 in the general election as of the most recent filing period ending May 2, while Ryu raised $292,350. Ryu has never held elective office and was the director of development and public affairs with L.A. non-profit Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Health Center. He positioned himself as the outsider who would bring fresh perspective and ideas to city government. Out of 40 precincts in the San Fernando Valley, all but 10 favored Ryu, but credit for his victory is being given to precincts adjacent to Koreatown where he received 75 percent to 85 percent of the votes, according to the provisional results. Ryu is the first Korean American to be elected to the Council and only the second Asian American. Mike Woo represented the neighboring 13th District from 1985 to 1993.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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