The municipal election doesn't arrive in West Hollywood until March, 2011, but candidates looking to defeat City Council incumbents John Heilman, Abbe Land, and Lindsey Horvath are already gearing up for a major battle.

Former West Hollywood planning commissioner and City Council candidate John D'Amico is holding his first fund raiser on September 29, and Mito Aviles, another candidate, just posted a political cartoon on his web site that shows Heilman and Land ready to throw Horvath under a speeding bus.

Facing longtime and well-funded City Council members Heilman and Land, Aviles and D'Amico face a difficult challenge to unseat them.

West Hollywood City Hall observers, however, believe Horvath, a newcomer who was appointed to her seat in 2009 after a City Council member died, may be vulnerable in next year's election.

Earlier this year, L.A. Weekly ran a cover story titled “West Follywood,” which looked at the cliquish political culture of West Hollywood, how dubious policies have been instituted as a result, and how angry community activists want to shake up the status quo.

D'Amico and Aviles are hoping to tap into that anger in the spring of 2011.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at

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