Shallman said the campaign was handicapped in the primary by ongoing contract negotiations with teachers and problems with the district’s payroll system. “The message we want to get out is that Jon is an experienced teacher and in the 31/2 years he’s been on the board, class sizes are smaller and scores are improving,” he said. Galatzan’s campaign, however, plans to continue stressing the overall problems facing the district. “There’s no way to avoid it,” Galatzan campaign manager Mike Trujillo said. “It is the administration of the schools that is the problem facing the district. “What we’re asking teachers is why would they support a system that can’t even get their paychecks to them?” Both campaigns said they are analyzing who voted in the primary – or who didn’t – to figure out how to get more people to show up at the polls. The May 15 runoff is not the only impending election that Los Angeles voters can ignore. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also will be selecting a date to hold a special election in the 39th Assembly District seat being vacated by Richard Alarc n, who was re-elected last week to the City Council. Alarc n said he wants to take office as soon as possible, although it will be about three weeks before election results are certified. After that, the governor has two weeks in which to set the date for the special election, which must be held within 126 days. That means voting likely will be sometime in mid-July. Among those expected to vie for the seat is Felipe Fuentes, former chief deputy to state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys. Fuentes pulled out of the City Council race after Alarc n announced his candidacy. Also being mentioned as a potential candidate is Monica Rodriguez, who finished second to Alarc n in the council race and earned high marks for her campaign. She is being urged to look at the Assembly race to capitalize on her work in the council race. A group of Republicans is trying to stem radical influences in the party by reaching out to moderates, similar to a tactic used by Democrats 12 years ago. At that time, it was the Democratic Leadership Council that ended up with the candidacy and victory of President Bill Clinton. The Republican Leadership Conference – a coalition formed by former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and former Sen. John Danforth – is seeking to “return the Republican Party to its core principles of fiscal responsibility, limited government and respectful inclusiveness of all Americans.” The coalition has formed a national advisory panel that includes Peter Hankwitz of Northridge, who ran as the only openly gay Republican for Congress in 2006. He lost to Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Van Nuys. But Hankwitz said he hopes to bring the GOP back to its roots. “The Republican Party was once anchored … by the principle of leaders like Lincoln and Reagan – leaders who sought to promote prosperity, consensus and strength by uniting Americans together.” The group that unsuccessfully tried to bring public campaign financing to state races is launching a new effort aimed at local politics. California Clean Money has started a series of meetings to try to persuade Los Angeles to adopt a complete public campaign-financing system and is trying to work through neighborhood councils to make it happen. The group said it is working with City Council President Eric Garcetti to reach out to neighborhood councils to take up the issue and urge the City Council to adopt the proposal. In addition to Garcetti, council members Greuel and Bill Rosendahl have previously supported public campaign financing. email@example.com (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Runoffs will be held for two seats, with most of the attention going to the San Fernando Valley race between incumbent Jon Lauritzen and Deputy City Attorney Tamar Galatzan. Lauritzen is UTLA’s choice; Galatzan is backed by the mayor. The two fought a costly and highly charged primary race that is expected to continue for the May 15 runoff. Lauritzen, a veteran teacher, plans to continue pushing the idea of protecting Valley schools from the “powerful downtown interests” of Villaraigosa, and is hoping the UTLA will be able to turn out voters. “We hope they can be even more involved in the runoff,” John Shallman, Lauritzen’s campaign manager, said of the union. It’s not often you can hold an election in which everyone wins. Of course, it helps when turnout is dismal and a lot of your candidates are unopposed. That was the case for both the labor and business communities, which proudly took credit for the re-election Tuesday of City Council members Wendy Greuel, Tom LaBonge, Bernard Parks and Herb Wesson. All four – along with Councilman Greig Smith, who was not backed by labor – were unopposed. But labor did find some difficulties in Los Angeles Unified’s board races, which split between candidates backed by United Teachers Los Angeles and those supported by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.