In order to be elected mayor, Eric Garcetti will have to make inroads in the San Fernando Valley. About 40% of the votes in the March election are going to come from the Valley, and it's Wendy Greuel's home turf.
This evening, Garcetti has planted his flag there by winning the endorsement of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley. According to his campaign, he took 63% of the vote -- just enough to clear the 60% threshold.
Maybe the delegates didn't like that Greuel used to be a Republican? Who knows. In any case, Garcetti walks out with the W.
Garcetti is hoping to re-form the progressive coalition that elected Antonio Villaraigosa, and Democratic club support is a key part of that. Now it's on to the L.A. County Democratic Party endorsement, which just got a little more interesting. If Garcetti picks up some momentum and snags the party endorsement, that would be really big. (And by "really big," we mean that it would end up on a lot of mailers.)
Good time to mention that Greuel recently picked up her own bragging rights from the land over the hill. Last week, she won the backing of the Valley Latino machine -- Alex Padilla, Tony Cardenas, Felipe Fuentes, and their various apparatchiks. Certainly an important set of endorsements, if only because it gives Greuel something to say to Latinos.
Update, 10:18 p.m.: Greuel spokesman Dan Loeterman responds: "As Wendy said to the group after the vote, DPSFV didn't endorse her in her first race but she still won and represented the Valley proudly, and she looks forward to coming back again as mayor."
Loeterman also says Greuel has broad support from hundreds of Valley leaders, and says, "she'll put them up against the 34 people who voted the other way tonight any day."
Eric Bauman, chair of the county party, also has this to say: "The DPSFV endorsement is an important grass-roots endorsement, but it is not reflective of what the LA Democratic Party will do next month in making the official Democratic Party endorsement."