Astrophysicist and college educator Loraine Lundquist ran for office with a promise to take on the status quo, saying she would shake up Los Angeles City Hall by ending “pay-to-play politics” and scrutinizing decisions with the eye of a scientist.
Lundquist’s bid for a seat on the City Council energized Democrats, environmentalists, and progressive activists eager to win over a San Fernando Valley district long represented by Republicans.
But Lundquist ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from some of City Hall’s most experienced players, including business groups, the police officers’ union and former council members who represented the northwest Valley for generations. All lined up behind longtime City Hall aide John Lee, who emerged victorious Wednesday.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, the combative union that represents most workers at the Department of Water and Power, ran an expensive campaign against Lundquist, calling her an “extremist” who would hike taxes, drive up electric rates and even force Angelenos to buy electric cars.
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