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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Windsor Square Residents Show Their Love For Tom LaBonge

Andrew Khouri |
March 8, 2011 | 8:49 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

(Laura Walsh / Neon Tommy)
(Laura Walsh / Neon Tommy)
Incumbent L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge is known for his friendly nature and availability to constituents, Windsor Square residents said Tuesday evening after strolling out of a polling place on tony Larchmont Boulevard.

And that’s why they voted for him.

“He goes to see everyone and hears everyone’s complaints, not just Hancock Park or Larchmont,” said realtor Mary Anne Singer, who cast a vote for the longtime councilman. “I’ve seen him on Vermont pushing brooms and cleaning up the street. Who does that? Especially after all these years in politics.”

Singer said she didn’t give much notice to LaBonge’s opponents Stephen Box and Tomas O’Grady, both who have tried to play to anti-incumbent sentiment in the tougher than usual race for the District 4 seat. Last election, LaBonge ran unopposed.

“When he’s termed out, we’ll have to think of somebody else,” she said. “If we didn’t have term limits, I’d keep voting for him.”

LaBonge, who has worked for the city for decades, has represented District 4 since 2001. If he wins, term limits will make this go around his last.

Lissa Glenn, a Windsor Square resident, also said she was unfamiliar with the two challengers and voted for the visible LaBonge, who she said is also a friend.

“Tom is there when you need him,” Glenn said, recalling the time his office kickstarted a bumbling bureaucracy to fix malfunctioning street lights next to her house, where she has lived since 1986. “I called Tom’s office. The next day they were out fixing the lights.”

Turnout in the upscale precinct was “fantastic” for a non presidential or congressional election, said polling inspector Giovanna Borgo-Carrillo. As of 7 p.m., about 230 residents had cast their votes.

Nary a voter said they chose anyone but the councilman, however traffic was brisk in the early evening.

After the Los Angeles Times endorsed O’Grady, citing LaBonge’s “thin” record on pressing city issues such as the budget, Singer decided to express her appreciation for the incumbent.

“I cancelled my subscription,” she said.

Reach reporter Andrew Khouri here.



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