LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Former President Bill Clinton endorsed mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel today, calling her a “smart, dedicated and creative problem-solver.”
“She knows how to make government work for ordinary people, and she’s been doing it for decades, not only when times are good, but especially during periods of crisis,” Clinton wrote in a letter that was forwarded to Greuel supporters. “I saw that strength of Wendy’s first-hand in 1994.”
Greuel worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during Clinton’s administration, and as a field officer helped coordinate the federal government’s response to the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Greuel, the Los Angeles city controller, will square off in a May 21 runoff election with City Councilman Eric Garcetti.
“President Clinton has been a role model for me of what strong leadership can mean in terms of creating jobs and building coalitions,” Greuel said. “This endorsement demonstrates the momentum we are determined to build through May 21.”
Clinton’s endorsement came as Greuel re-tools her campaign team. Over the weekend, she replaced her campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski, who will remain as a senior strategist, with Janelle Erickson, a former Clinton administration communications director for the Office of Legislative Affairs and former deputy chief of staff in Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office. The moves followed an exodus last Thursday by Greuel’s field director and several staffers who previously worked on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
Garcetti has his own ties to the White House. Earlier this year, Garcetti was invited to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration party. He served as the California co-chair during Obama’s 2008 election campaign.
With nine weeks to go before the election, Greuel and Garcetti have been keeping busy collecting endorsements and refilling their campaign war chests. They are not allowed to use funds from their primary election campaigns.
In addition to the latest nod from Clinton, Greuel collected key endorsements in recent weeks from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, an organization representing 600,000 union workers, as well as former mayor Richard Riordan and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Garcetti also received key endorsements last week from his colleagues. Council members Paul Koretz, Joe Buscaino and Paul Krekorian lined up behind his campaign, adding to existing support from council members Ed Reyes and Richard Alarcon.