Mayor Eric Garcetti will travel to New Hampshire to rally Democrats

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will travel to New Hampshire this month to campaign for a fellow Democrat, the politician’s latest trip to a presidential swing state.

Garcetti will visit Manchester, N.H., on Aug. 28 to help Democratic mayoral candidate Joyce Craig, Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said Wednesday.

A former school board member and alderwoman, Craig is challenging incumbent Republican Mayor Theodore “Ted” Gatsas in the September nonpartisan primary in Manchester. The city has a population of about 110,000.

The state traditionally holds the first presidential primary and is a key stop for politicians hoping to forge relationships with influential activists that would be helpful if they run for higher office.

Unlike in California, voters in early nominating states such as New Hampshire and Iowa expect to meet and question presidential candidates. Endorsements from influential party leaders as well as elected officials also carry more weight.

Garcetti’s visit to New Hampshire will “do little or nothing” to help Craig, said Andrew Smith, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

“But it’s a good first step for Garcetti to come to New Hampshire and introduce himself,” Smith said.

The mayor’s visit comes as he rallies Democrats in other states and overseas. Garcetti denies he’s running for president, but his trips and comments have helped stoke speculation about his political ambitions.

In June, Garcetti traveled to Wisconsin for a state Democratic convention, where he urged Democrats to regroup after last year’s election.

Last month, he spoke in Berlin to a group of American Democrats living overseas. Garcetti met with the group at the request of Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Perez’s office confirmed.

During his Berlin speech, Garcetti urged his fellow Democrats to stand up for the underdog and repeatedly criticized President Trump, saying the president “is a man who is anything but helpful to the working class.”

“We have to destroy the idea that he stands for the American people, we do,” Garcetti said.

Garcetti was asked to go to New Hampshire by Craig’s campaign, Robb said. The National Conference of Democratic Mayors, an organization affiliated with the DNC, suggested Garcetti could help Craig, Robb said.

Garcetti is a vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

“Now more than ever, Mayor Garcetti believes it’s critical to do what he can to help elect good Democrats, especially in mayoral races,” Robb said in a statement.

Garcetti will be away from Los Angeles for nearly two weeks beginning Thursday, according to his public schedule.