Now John D’Amico is endorsing Joe Guardarrama. West Hollywood’s mayor drew complaints from other candidates in the March 3 City Council race last month when he hosted a campaign kickoff event at his house for Joe Guardarrama.
In response to the complaints, D’Amico told WEHOville that he was happy to host such events for any of the 11 other candidates for City Council. To date he’s been taken up on that offer by several of them.
Today, however, Guardarrama has announced that he has garnered D’Amico’s endorsement.
“I am honored to receive the mayor’s endorsement and support,” Guardarrama said in a press release. “John D’Amico ushered in a new era of transparency in City Hall which has transformed West Hollywood for the better, and I look forward to working with him on the Council. I couldn’t ask for a better ally in this race.”
“Joe Guardarrama is exactly the kind of Council member that West Hollywood needs,” D’Amico was quoted as saying in the release, “and I’m proud to endorse Joe alongside so many others who understand that Joe will keep our city moving in the right direction. He’s got an unquestioned intellect and a warmth which draws people near him. I’ve known Joe for many years, we served on the Planning Commission together, and though we didn’t always agree we know we can work together. Joe is a man of integrity and ethics, and he will be ready to serve from Day One. That’s why I’ve knocked on doors with him, and that’s why I’m endorsing him. He will be a reliable partner.”
Guardarrama, a lawyer who has lived in West Hollywood since 2000, served on the city Planning Commission for more than seven years, presiding over Commission meetings as both chair and vice chair. In that role he dealt with complicated land use policy matters such as the creation of a new general plan, the Red Building expansion of the Pacific Design Center and multiple affordable housing developments. Guardarrama also served as a business license commissioner and on the city’s Campaign Finance Reform Committee.
Campaign finance issues, election law and government ethics are a part of his practice at the Kaufman Legal Group, which Guardarrama joined in 2011. He advises candidates, officeholders, political action committees, independent expenditure committees, major donors, lobbyists and corporations on legal aspects of their involvement with the political process at the state and local levels.
Guardarrama also has received the endorsement of the city employees union. The union, AFSCME Local 3339, also has endorsed Councilmember John Heilman, Mayor D’Amico and Lindsey Horvath.
Other candidates are seeking an endorsement to D’Amico, who is widely viewed by political insiders as a shoo-in in the Council race. D’Amico, who first won election to the Council in 2011, is one of only two incumbents running for re-election. The other is Heilman, who has been on the Council since the city’s incorporation 30 years ago. The two have had a fraught relationship that was illustrated on Saturday during a City Council candidate forum when D’Amico accused Heilman’s deputy, Fran Solomon, of complaining that too many gay people had voted in the 2011 election. In an interview with WEHOville, Solomon denied that accusation, noting that she works for a gay man and in a city whose population is 40 percent gay, evidence that she is supportive of the gay community.