LA/Ontario International Airport had once been projected to serve 30 million passengers by 2030. (Staff file photo)

By Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
@InlandGov on Twitter
Posted: 05/18/2013 04:28:16 PM PDT
Updated: 05/18/2013 04:35:54 PM PDT

Related: Union money looms big in L.A. mayor’s race

The next mayor of Los Angeles – City Councilman Eric Garcetti or City Controller Wendy Greuel – can be expected to have political influence well beyond their city’s limits.

“Anything that happens in Los Angeles city is of interest to the region,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State Los Angeles.

Whoever ends up elected as mayor of Los Angeles immediately becomes one of the most visible public figures in the state, and a de facto spokesman for the surrounding region. Tuesday’s mayoral election may also demonstrate how voters’ opinions and demands are shifting in and around Los Angeles. Politicians seeking or holding office in other Southern California cities may adjust their platforms and governing strategies based on what they see happening in California’s most populated city.

“The mayor of L.A. can be a huge leader on local issues,” said Douglas Johnson, a fellow at The Rose Institute for State and Local Government.

“For example, Richard Riordan set the tone and was an example for much of the state.”

Johnson credited Riordan, who was the city’s mayor from 1993 to 2001, with placing an emphasis on charter reforms and attempting to improve Los Angeles’ bureaucracy to make the city more responsive to businesses.

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