New York Times Profiles Kevin James as CA GOP’s “Colorful Show Horse” in Mayor’s Race

Below is an excerpt from an article in the New York Times, written by staff writer Adam Nagourney, which covers the diversity that mayoral candidate Kevin James’ personal identity adds to the mix of California GOP politics, his long-shot odds of winning the Los Angeles mayoral race, and interviews Fred Davis, founder of SuperPAC Better Way L.A., which backs James.

“By any measure, Mr. James, 49, is a bit of a long shot. He is a Republican brassy former prosecutor running in a Democratic city at a time when California is marching steadily to the left, making his first bid for office in a field of establishment candidates.

Yet in the first major election since President Obama’s victory in November — voting that relegated the California Republican Party to the margins — Mr. James has become, at least for a few national Republicans, something of a lifeline. They see in his candidacy in the March 5 vote an outside chance to grab what could be a spirit-lifting victory, and perhaps even signal a way to get back in the game in California.

Fred Davis, a Republican ad producer based in the Hollywood Hills who worked for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, created a political action committee to finance an advertising campaign to help Mr. James compete with his better-financed competitors. Mr. Davis was looking to raise $4 million from Republicans across the nation; he has since scaled back that goal a bit (he had raised $700,000 as of Friday).

“On the national stage, he is the perfect example of the Republican dilemma,” said Bill Carrick, a Democratic consultant advising one of Mr. James’s Democratic rivals, Eric Garcetti, a member of the City Council. “He has to both energize a shrinking base of Republican voters who are decidedly more conservative than the rest of the city’s electorate, at the same time he reaches out to the ultimate Democratic voters. It’s a hell of a challenge.”

But Mr. James could well affect the final outcome here. Given Mr. Davis’s effort and the crowded field, Mr. James is positioned to squeeze his way into a two-way runoff this spring. If he does, it will probably be at the expense of Wendy Greuel, the city comptroller, who is competing for the same votes in the San Fernando Valley where Mr. James has a constituency. Mr. James has directed most of his attacks against her.

Whether he could beat a Democrat in a two-way race — polls suggest that the opponent would be Mr. Garcetti — is decidedly less likely.

Mr. Davis is known for making or proposing political advertisements intended to be provocative, sometimes too much so. He wrote an advertising plan for a political action committee working on behalf of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, suggesting that it “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do” and produce advertisements linking Mr. Obama to the racially incendiary sermons delivered by Mr. Obama’s former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. The advertisement was never made.

Mr. Davis said that while he was spending much of his energy on this race — his other clients include Rick Snyder, the Republican governor of Michigan — he was careful not to exaggerate its potential symbolism.

“It’s a little tiny start,” he said. “I’m not silly. I don’t think the mayor of Los Angeles is going to be the next face of the Republican Party. But I think it would be an enormous wake-up call to the Republican Party if we succeeded.”

Read the original article as published on February 01, 2013 at

Learn more about Emanuel Pleitez at and

Blog written by staff from the Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor campaign. Emanuel Pleitez is a candidate running for Mayor of Los Angeles in the March 2013 elections. A progressive Los Angeles native, he’s committed to uniting, serving, and inspiring his community. Son of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, and experienced in the private and public sector, he hopes to re-energize Los Angeles with a grassroots campaign the likes of which the city has never seen before.

Paid for by Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor 2013, 1972 E Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles CA 90033. Additional information is available at

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