Mike Bonin remains in middle of City Council race, though he dropped out 9 months ago.
The race is officially over.
John Cummins, the two-time mayoral and current Assembly Speaker pro tem in Los Angeles County, announced his surprise retirement Tuesday night. His announcement left two other contenders who have been in the race for years on the sidelines.
It’s clear now who will be making up the City Council’s next City Council District 11.
John Bonin, the former Los Angeles Times columnist and a one-time mayoral candidate, is the only remaining candidate. The other candidates are now unknown, though one could be Steve Adler, the City Council’s vice chairman who has been running a campaign to make the race an open seat through petition for election.
The three-member City Council will not be sitting again without a new member.
“A lot of hard work has happened. We’re going to meet on the council and try to move forward,” Bonin said in an interview Tuesday night.
The only question is whether he can get in.
Bonin announced his campaign in 2015, but he did not have the money to become active. He dropped out in March 2015 with nearly $1 million in campaign coffers. He also has only enough of an outside campaign bankroll to run a small, local campaign, which he chose not to do.
The other three candidates have spent more than $2 million, which isn’t nearly enough to become active in the race.
Bonin said Tuesday that he is ready to move beyond having just talked about running for City Council and is ready to do what it takes to become a candidate.
“I think the time is right. I think we may be able to have a different perspective on the council,” he said.
Council District 11 spans the city’s north and central sections, including Pasadena, Azusa, Burbank, Burbank Hills and Palmdale. It has long been part of a long-running power struggle between the city’s central cities and suburbs. But even as central cities like Pasadena and Los Angeles grew in popularity, their suburbs were often more prosperous. This rivalry heated up in the 1970s as the suburbs of many California municipalities were built up by outsiders eager to build in a city with a higher tax base.