LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is set to begin a three-day trip to Ohio today for meetings with local Democratic officials, another sign he is considering a run for president in 2020.
Garcetti will begin his trip Thursday by visiting Youngstown. He'll then meet with Democratic Party leaders, labor leaders, elected officials and about 15 Cuyahoga County mayors at an informal event hosted by Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter in Independence.
Next it's on to Cleveland, where Garcetti will deliver an address and take audience questions at the Cleveland City Club's “Forum” at midday Friday. Later he'll tour the I Promise School in Akron, a project of the LeBron James Foundation.
Garcetti Friday will also stop in Columbus, where he'll speak and take questions at a Young Professionals event hosted by the New Leaders Council of Columbus. In the evening, he'll speak at a fundraiser on behalf of the re-election campaign of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Garcetti will be in Cincinnati on Saturday to speak at a Democratic get-out-the-vote rally, participate in a round table discussion about local transit initiatives, and speak at a fundraiser for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Garcetti adviser Yusef Robb said the mayor will be accompanied by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley throughout the trip. He will also spend time with Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, DeGeeter, Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther and Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan.
Garcetti has frequently traveled outside California and the country. The Los Angeles Times reported last September he had spent nearly one-third of his time out of state in the previous 12 months, heading to cities including Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas and Berlin.
As he weighs running for president, Garcetti has continued to make trips to political battlegrounds this year, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The Times filed a lawsuit in July against Los Angeles after the city refused to turn over records detailing taxpayer costs for security on out-of- state trips taken by Garcetti.
Garcetti's federal political action committee will reimburse the city for travel expenses incurred by the mayor's security on political trips, Robb told the Los Angeles Times.
He said the Democratic Midterm Victory Fund will start paying for airfare, hotels, rental cars and other travel expenses for the police officers who accompany the mayor on fund-related trips. The fund will also reimburse the city for six trips going back to June 2017.
Robb said the fund won't pick up the salary costs of officers on those trips. That will continue to be paid for by taxpayers.
“The Democratic Midterm Victory Fund benefits from the mayor's participation and travel -- he is our key voice and fundraiser,” Robb said. “After a conversation with the mayor, the fund contacted LAPD and asked that it bill the fund for travel costs related to mayoral security during trips associated with the fund's activities moving forward.”
Robb didn't provide a cost for the six trips on which Los Angeles Police Department security accompanied the mayor, saying he was waiting for the final accounting, The Times reported.
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