Boys to men

Hahn VillaraigosaOn the second-to-last Sunday of the mayoral runoff, the Times doesn't reveal a new poll (maybe Monday?) but does land profiles of Hahn and Villaraigosa focused on the formative years before either became a politician. If you've followed their careers and consumed earlier profiles, much of it is familiar, but both pieces offer some fresh tidbits. The Hahn story by former editorial writer and columnist Sandy Banks spends most of its time on Hahn's upbringing in a white neighborhood near Inglewood that was becoming mostly black. He got beat up a lot in junior high and switched to private schools, was sports editor of the Lutheran High paper, didn't have a girlfriend and was voted best looking in his senior class. Tina Daunt's piece on Villaraigosa also emphasizes childhood, talking about life in City Terrace and the hurt he felt after his abusive father left, remarried and had another son also named Antonio. Villaraigosa got in fights in high school, was kicked out of one school and dropped out of another, then righted himself to attend East L.A. College and graduate UCLA with a degree in history.

And: The Times makes its endorsement of Villaraigosa, writing on Sunday's editorial page:

It's no secret that before the March election, we were rooting for a runoff between Villaraigosa and his fellow former Assembly speaker, Bob Hertzberg. Given their differences in philosophy as well as style, we had envisioned genuine debates over how best to speed traffic, rein in gang violence, fix schools, create jobs and otherwise make Los Angeles a better place to live and work, with a bigger profile in the world.

Instead, Hahn, always a more energetic campaigner than leader, edged out hugmeister Hertzberg, setting up a rematch of his 2001 runoff against Villaraigosa...

Villaraigosa's record, particularly as Assembly speaker in Sacramento, is of pulling together the right people to get things done. The city's needs keep growing. Villaraigosa as mayor would offer the promise that they would be attacked with relish and intensity. He is the best choice to lead Los Angeles.

Also: The Daily News interviews Clark Davis, the City Hall lobbyist who "recently blew the whistle on challenger Antonio Villaraigosa's fundraising that led him to return $47,000 to a Florida company."...In a separate DN opinion piece, Democratic strategist Garry South — who was communications director for Mike Woo's 1993 campaign for mayor — warns Hahn not to go racial in the final week: "As someone who has been running campaigns for more than 30 years, my advice to Mayor Hahn would be: There are worse things than losing elections. One is to sully your own good family name. Another is to divide the city you lead by pitting one racial group against another in an effort to save your own skin."...In the LAT, Joel Kotkin writes in Sunday Opinion that "Hahn and Villaraigosa don't understand the connection between boosting the local economy and social progress."

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