You might not know it but there's a momentous battle for a City Council seat going down this week, and it's attracting some big money and powerful interests. Former Hollywood studio executive Christine Essel is fighting state Assemblyman Paul Krekorian for the chance to represent the East Valley's Council District 2.

In an editorial today the Los Angeles Daily News reports that among the two of them the candidates have benefited from more than $2 million in spending on the race, which will be decided in a runoff election Tuesday.

That's a lot of cash for a local race, but as the Daily News points out: “Maintaining representation on the main body of elected officials in Los Angeles is important to the people who have something to gain. That's why the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents the high-paid work force of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Local 18, and the Los Angeles Police Protective League have dumped hundreds of thousands of their members' money to buy political mailers for Essel. They know the stakes are high.”

Essel has benefited from $1.5 million in contributions and independent expenditures while Krekorian has been the focus of about $600,000 in such spending. It's something to keep in mind as you go to the polls Tuesday although either way you vote you're going to get a council representative with a lot of special-interest baggage.

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LA Weekly