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Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas took much of City Hall by surprise last week, revealing that after months of speculation, he had closed the door on a bid for mayor.

The announcement served as a potent reminder that the candidate pool in the June 2022 election remains remarkably thin. With the primary about nine months away, City Atty. Mike Feuer and Councilman Joe Buscaino are still the only major political figures currently running to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Now, some in the city have begun voicing their dissatisfaction with those choices, saying they want more female candidates, more racial and ethnic diversity and even more excitement. In some instances, they’re seeking a candidate who is further to the left. In others, they want someone with fewer ties to City Hall.

“We need more fresh faces,” said Erick Huerta, a community activist who lives in Boyle Heights. Huerta, who is in his mid-30s, said he’s hoping for a candidate who’s closer to his age and doesn’t have the same “policy narrative” as a career politician.

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