Update 3:14 p.m.: Zev Yaroslavsky will jump in “sooner rather than later.”

Councilman Eric Garcetti announced this morning that he's running for mayor.

Garcetti's entry into the race has been expected for months, and the chatter had been picking up lately that he would announce soon after Labor Day.

The announcement is likely to set off a succession battle for president of the L.A. City Council. The odds-on favorite for that job is Councilman Herb Wesson, but it's never a done deal until it's done.

There are still two big names on the sidelines…

… Rick Caruso and Zev Yaroslavsky. They've been quieter about their intentions than Garcetti has been, but they're expected to decide relatively soon. (Update: Rick Taylor, Yaroslavsky's id, tells the Times: “I think he's absolutely, unequivocally getting in.”)

Update, 3:14 p.m.: Taylor, a veteran political operative, tells the Weekly that Yaroslavsky will get in “sooner rather than later.”

“I've known him for 40 years. I think he's running. He hasn't told anyone that, but do I believe he's going to run? Absolutely,” Taylor said. “He's making a Zev-Yaroslavsky-slow-but-deliberate decision… Sooner is a better idea… There's no question he needs to step up.”

So there's that.

Garcetti joins a field that already includes Controller Wendy Greuel, former Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner, Councilwoman Jan Perry and radio host Kevin James.

In a statement, Garcetti said he's running “to get L.A. and our economy back on track.” He stressed his experience as a councilman and his “willingness to embrace innovation.”

“Los Angeles is

the most dynamic city in the world,” he said. “We need leadership that brings

people together around a common vision that puts Los Angeles back on


Garcetti has hired Bill Carrick, who is Dianne Feinstein's political strategist.

He's a good communicator. He's also, for lack of a better word, a good facilitator — the kind of guy who can get warring groups together, and write all their concerns down on a whiteboard and make them all feel respected and listened to.

Where he gets criticized is on bold leadership — staking out a position and getting others to fall in line. That's not his style. He's also going to get hit for presiding over the City Council as it struggled mightily to come to grips with the recession. But he's a smart guy, and not to be underestimated.

For further reading:
Check out what the experts are saying about who will win the election, in “Zev Yaroslavsky Will Replace Antonio Villaraigosa as Mayor, Experts Predict.”

LA Weekly