News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by

No bones about it: Bray-Ali's uncloseted skeletons unlikely to help his campaign

Joe Bray-Ali is running for City Council in Los Angeles in CD1.
Joe Bray-Ali is running for City Council in Los Angeles in CD1.
Courtesy of Joe Bray-Ali

Listen to story

Download this story 9MB

The 2016 election taught us a lot about how voters think. 

For example, there were several times during the Trump campaign when analysts said that he'd gone too far — that things he'd said or did would turn voters off. 

But today, much to the surprise of those analysts, we call him "President Trump." 

Keeping that in mind, behold the curious case of Joe Bray-Ali, an LA City Council candidate who seemed to have the wind at his back until last week when his internet history came back to haunt him. 

But Bray-Ali was quick to respond to the controversy, flinging open his closet doors, and proceeding to toss his skeletons pell-mell in front of voters. 

Bray-Ali is set to face off against incumbent Gil Cedillo for his spot at the helm of District 1, which includes cities like Highland Park, Echo Park, and Mt. Washington. 

Cedillo is widely seen as the establishment politician, making Bray-Ali's venture into the race intriguing for many. The LA Times even endorsed him. But Bray-Ali would go on to lose that endorsement late last week. He now faces calls to drop out of the race. 

But the candidate's late decision to go public with his shortcomings raises an important question:

In the age of the "outsider" candidate, will voters look past Bray-Ali's faults? 

The short answer is probably not, says USC associate professor of political science Christian Grose. 

"I doubt it. It has raised his profile. It may raise his profile for other things beyond the City Council race, but for this specific City Council race I think it hurts him and helps Cedillo," Grose says. 

Press the blue play button above to hear the full interview.