Greuel Backs Former Paramount Exec as Replacement

City Controller Wendy Greuel endorsed former Paramount Pictures executive Christine Essel as her replacement on the  City Council.

At a news conference Thursday morning, Greuel announced she  will support Essel in the Sept. 22 special election to fill the 2nd District  seat on the 15-member City Council. The seat has been vacant since July 1, when Greuel was sworn in as city  controller.

Greuel's announcement comes two days after Essel's main rival,  Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, was unanimously endorsed by the San Fernando Valley  Democratic Party.

Essel has raised at least $118,000 for her campaign while Krekorian has  so far managed only $50,000. However, Krekorian's campaign manager, Areen  Ibranossian, claims the Democratic Party endorsement is a ``game-changer.''

"It will give us a huge source of volunteers," he said. "Money is not  going to be a factor in this council race. This campaign is going to be won  on the ground, talking to voters directly."

Essel has also been endorsed by former Mayor Richard Riordan, and by the  only women on the City Council, Janice Hahn and Jan Perry.

Krekorian has the support of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca,  Councilman Paul Koretz, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, and Reps. Brad Sherman and  Loretta Sanchez.

The other candidates in the race are prosecutor and Los Angeles Unified  School District board member Tamar Galatzan; Jozef "Joe" Thomas Essavi, a  member of Los Angeles County's Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Commission; Los  Angeles County commissioner ; Neighborhood Council members Michael McCue and  Mary Benson; community organizer Pete Sanchez; neighborhood advocate David  ``Zuma Dogg'' Saltsburg; candy factory owner Frank Sheftel; and businessman  Augusto Bisani.

Los Angeles' 2nd District stretches from Mulholland Drive in the  Hollywood Hills to Big Tujunga Road in the Verdugo Hills. It includes the  communities of Lake View Terrace, La Tuna Canyon, North Hollywood, Shadow  Hills, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sunland, Sun Valley, Tujunga, Valley Village,  Valley Glen and Van Nuys. 

Meanwhile, City Clerk June Lagmay announced today that poll workers are  needed for the Sept. 22 election. They must be American citizens, registered  voters, at least 18 years old by Election Day, and able to speak, read and  write English, or be bilingual.

The city clerk's office is especially seeking poll workers who can speak  both English and one of the six-federally-mandated languages used in election  materials: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Poll workers do not have to be residents of the 2nd District to qualify.

For service on election day, they will be paid a one-time stipend: $80  for clerks and $100 for inspectors. They will receive an additional $25 for  attending a mandatory two-hour training class.

Those interested in volunteering may call the city clerk's Poll worker  Recruitment Section at (866) 899-VOTE (8683) or at 213-978-0363.

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