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With Garcetti set to exit, LA must choose a new mayor

After months of speculation, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been selected for a post in the Biden administration as US Ambassador to India.

The move is expected to trigger a series of events at city hall that will affect not only the mayor’s office, but also potentially the council presidency and the 2022 election – assuming Garcetti’s appointment is approved by the US Senate. .

What is happening now?

City council likely won’t need to immediately find a replacement for the mayor: it could be weeks or months before the Senate takes Garcetti’s appointment.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee would review the candidacy before sending it to the full Senate, where a simple majority is required for approval. However, only one senator can block a confirmation by suspending the vote.

How will a replacement be chosen?

With a vacancy in the mayor’s office, city council would have the power, under the city charter, to formally appoint an interim replacement for the remainder of its term. City Councilor Mitch O’Farrell, who worked for Garcetti before becoming elected himself, saw this as the most likely scenario.

“I think it’s very likely that the board will pick an interim,” O’Farrell said last month.

The city charter also gives council the power to call a special election when there is a vacant position in the mayor’s office. But these contests are expensive unless they are consolidated with other elections.

O’Farrell and City Councilor Paul Krekorian have already opposed this scenario, saying a special election would likely be too close to the next municipal election in June 2022 – and cost way too much.

“It’s over $ 40 million, and the schedule would be such that it almost coincides with the next regular election,” said Krekorian, who heads the council’s budget committee. “I don’t see that there is an advantage for the people of Los Angeles to do this.”

Until an interim mayor is appointed or a new one is elected, Council President Nury Martinez would serve as interim mayor, as she does whenever Garcetti is ill or travels out of town. the state.

Who could take over as interim mayor?

Behind the scenes, several names have been proposed for the acting mayor, including Martinez, Krekorian, former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former city comptroller Wendy Greuel.

Council members might be reluctant to appoint someone to an acting position if they believe that person would use that role as a springboard for a mayoral campaign next year.

Atty of the city. Mike Feuer and city councilor Joe Buscaino have already entered the June 2022 mayoral race, and at least four other council members – including Martinez – are weighing the idea.

Real estate developer Rick Caruso and former LA Supt schools. Austin Beutner are also seen as possible suitors. The mayor’s second round is set for November 2022.

Times writer Dakota Smith contributed to this report.

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