As soon as Zev Yaroslavsky bowed out of the race for mayor Thursday morning, top contenders Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti started working the phones in a mad scramble to pick up his supporters.
By the end of the day on Friday, both campaigns had picked up some converts. Greuel claimed a longer list, with 22 names to Garcetti's five.
“She called first,” said Bruce Corwin, a theater owner and former finance chair for Mayor Tom Bradley, explaining his support for Greuel. “I love both of them. There's not an inch of difference in terms of how one would vote on one issue as opposed to the other. They are the exact carbon copy of each other. But she's hungrier. She's out-hustling him at this point.”
Ken Ziffren, a veteran entertainment lawyer, said he had been waiting for Yaroslavsky to make up his mind. Now that Yaroslavsky is out, he's going with Garcetti.
“We have a real talented young man who has a wonderful future and is really dedicated to fixing the city,” Ziffren said. The key difference, Ziffren said, is not on issues, but rather “who's better qualified and who has more passion… That's where I really think he's a winner.”
Greuel's campaign provided this list of 22 supporters who had come aboard since Yaroslavsky's announcement:
Lea Purwin D'Agostino, Lisa Specht and Ron Rogers, Leslie Gilbert Lurie, Cathy and Len Unger, Ann Hollister, Donna Bojarsky, Valerie Fields, Richard and Marcia Volpert, Allen Lawrence, Hope Boonshaft, Vicky Reynolds and Murray Pepper, Marc Nathanson, Hope Warschaw, Carmen Warschaw, Don and Prudie Schultz, Bruce and Toni Corwin
And here are the five names supplied by the Garcetti campaign:
Ken and Ellen Ziffren, attorney David Farrar, West Hollywood Councilman John Duran, and music executive Irving Azoff
Hard to say whether this reflects a genuine imbalance in Greuel's favor, or merely greater eagerness on Greuel's part to share these names publicly. Many of the names on Greuel's list are longtime local political hands. Nathanson may be the biggest “get” — he's a wealthy cable executive and a big name in political fundraising. (He's such a prolific donor, in fact, that he's already contributed $1,000 each to Greuel and Garcetti.)
Garcetti's strategist, Bill Carrick, there there were “no surprises” on Greuel's list.
Carrick also mentioned that Michael Eisner, the former Disney CEO, will be holding a fundraiser for Garcetti soon.
The primary will be held in March 2013. Also in the race are Councilwoman Jan Perry and former radio host Kevin James.
Update, Monday: Carrick responds to Corwin's remarks about Greuel “out-hustling” Garcetti.
“Eric is on Navy Reserve duty, and wasn't available to be on the phone,” Carrick said. “We're virtually tied in fundraising. There's no evidence that anybody is out-working Eric Garcetti.”