Not thrilled by Councilman Eric Garcetti or Controller Wendy Greuel, the two front-runner candidates in LA's 2013 mayoral race?
Luckily, you have three other candidates to choose from: Councilwoman Jan Perry, former talk radio host Kevin James and technology executive Emanuel Pleitez.
Where do they come down on the issues? HuffPost asked all three candidates the same questions we asked Garcetti and Greuel, and, in general, found these underdog candidates' answers to be more opinionated and less "safe." Click here to see the full answers for Perry, for James and for Pleitez. See below for the three alternative candidates' bios and some marked differences in their stances.
Councilwoman Perry, 58, has represented the district that includes much of South LA as well as the western section of downtown LA since 2001. Before that, she was the planning deputy for a councilman and then chief of staff for a councilwoman. Perry, who was raised in Cleveland and converted to Judaism in the 1980s, has proven to be a frank candidate who is banking on grassroots organizing. She has worked to revitalize downtown, and to restrict fast food restaurants and increase grocery stores and parks in South LA.
James, 50, is the only Republican candidate, and he is positioning himself as the outsider who will fix City Hall. James has worked at a private law firm, as an assistant U.S. Attorney and as a host on conservative talk AM radio station KABC. In his campaign, he has promised that as mayor, he would solve the city's financial crisis, eliminate impediments to business growth and remain unbeholden to unions' influence. He has been particularly critical of Greuel, accusing her of campaigning while on the clock as city controller.
Pleitez, only 30, was a personal assistant to Antonio Villaraigosa from 2003 to 2005, when the now-mayor was a councilman. He worked for three years with investment bank Goldman Sachs and is currently the chief strategy officer for data firm Spokeo. He is a former appointee to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition team and has worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Pleitez told HuffPost that his priorities are improving schools, attracting jobs and solving the city's budget woes -- partially by reforming pensions. The son of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, he grew up and still lives in East LA's El Sereno.
Here are how some of these three candidates' stances differ:
TEACHER TENURE: Pleitez said principals should choose staff based on merit and that he will "always be loyal to our students first, even if that means replacing ineffective teachers with the best teachers available."
James said he supports teacher evaluations, as long as they do not penalize teachers who start off with lower-performing students. Perry also said she supports performance-based evaluations and believes "high-performing teachers should be rewarded."
CONDOMS IN PORN: Pleitez said the government, "shouldn’t be in the business of legislating what goes on in the bedroom between consenting adults." The public health issue should be addressed through education, rather than a mandate, he said.
Perry supports LA enforcing the mandate, saying it "is at its core a public health issue." James supports condoms being mandated in porn but believes legislation should have remained as state law, rather than the city and county stepping in to further enforce a requirement that will drive the porn industry out of LA.
MARIJUANA: James, Perry and Pleitez support medical marijuana dispensaries but believe they need to be further regulated. Pleitez said that illegal marijuana sales drive street violence and that we need to reduce the stigma of marijuana as medicine. The market should decide the right number of dispensaries, he said.
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS DRIVING: James believes that undocumented immigrants should not receive driver's licenses or an alternative form of a driver's license; he also thinks the police should apply a 30-day impound policy to undocumented drivers.
Perry believes the 30-day impound policy is too harsh, saying, "Not only was the car inaccessible for a month, but the impound fees compound over that time period. Unlicensed drivers already receive a ticket for driving illegally." Pleitez believes undocumented immigrants should be given driver's licenses and a pathway to citizenship, he said.
NFL STADIUM/DODGER STADIUM: Pleitez opposes the AEG deal, saying it is risky, leaves taxpayers with the bill and shouldn't be a priority. Instead, he said, the city should be investing in South LA, the Eastside and the East Valley.
James opposes the current plan, largely because it prioritizes the stadium over the Convention Center. Click here to see his alternative plan for Farmer's Field. Perry supports the plan, saying it will not cost taxpayers and, instead, will bring 20,000 new jobs as well as revenue to the city.
Click here to find out how Garcetti and Greuel's stances differ.
Here is a cheat-sheet on all five candidates: