LOS ANGELES – Laura Chick, a former Los Angeles city controller and councilwoman, sharply criticized the frontrunner in the race for controller Tuesday as unfit for public office, calling Kenneth Mejia an “extremist” in an open letter.
But Mejia dismissed the attack as “desperate lies” orchestrated by his opponent, City Councilman Paul Koretz, however, old tweets by Mejia show he has sharp political views on the nation’s top leader.
Chick, who served as city controller from 2001 to 2009 following two terms on the council, called Mejia an “erratic, intolerant and extreme individual,” citing questions over the status of Mejia’s CPA license, a since- deleted tweet that he sent in 2020 referring to President Joe Biden as “a rapist and racist” and reports that his campaign staffers have disrupted mayoral forums and debates.
Chick endorsed Koretz, Mejia’s opponent in the November general election. Mejia finished first in the June primary, garnering 44% of the vote in a seven-candidate field and finishing nearly 20 percentage points ahead of Koretz.
“Some of this is because Angelenos are angry about the state of L.A. with a burgeoning homelessness crisis, rising crime and streets clogged with traffic, which are serious and challenging problems,” Chick wrote. “But fixing those problems means electing steady (stable) and proven leaders, not loose cannons like Mejia.”
Mejia responded on Twitter on Tuesday, claiming that Koretz enlisted “another career politician” to “recycle the same desperate lies/exaggerated attacks that didn’t work in the primary against us. Rather than address his record, qualifications or plans, he’s relying on smears.”
“Our opponent wants the status-quo to continue and we’re not going to let that happen,” Mejia continued. “We are the campaign of substance who is serious about bringing a high level of transparency and accountability on how the city inefficiently and ineffectively spends our money and operates.”
Mejia also received the endorsement on Tuesday of the third-place finisher in the primary, Stephanie Clements, who received 16% of the vote.
“His focus on technology, fiscal transparency, public education, and open data is exactly what Angelenos need and deserve,” Clements said in a statement.
Koretz, who has served on the council since 2009, is termed out this year.
2UrbanGirls contributed to this report.