Former federal prosecutor Kevin James, the only Republican in the race for Los Angeles mayor, Friday won an endorsement from former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
Riordan, who served from 1993 to 2001, cited James’ goal of enacting pension reforms as the primary reason for his endorsement.
“His complete independence from the special interest groups at City Hall will allow Kevin to establish real change for L.A.,” Riordan said. “I am confident in Kevin’s abilities to turn this city around and lead us toward prosperity just like we did when I was elected mayor.”
James has made pension reforms and reinvigorating the city’s film production industry as two key campaign goals. He’s also promised to reform the city’s tax and permit policies.
“My number one priority is the elimination of the gross receipts tax, which is how we calculate business tax here. It’s very burdensome for businesses of all sizes. A business could actually lose money and still get hit with a significant gross receipts tax from the city,” James said recently. “I also want to copy what Dallas has done and create a permit center that’s a one-stop shop for permitting for Los Angeles.”
Speaking after Friday’s endorsement, James called Los Angeles “a city in crisis.” In particular, he said many improvements are needed in the city’s budget, education system, and to its infrastructure. He also promised to improve communication with city residents and eliminate corruption.
“In total, we have a leadership crisis. I am the independent candidate in this race and I will be the new leader that will put L.A. back on track,” James said.
After leaving the mayor’s office, Riordan served as California Education Secretary from 2003 to 2005. He has also established a foundation to improve educational opportunities for children in low-income communities.
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