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Councilman Tony Cardenas announces run for new congressional seat

Hours after a state commission released the first round of new congressional district maps, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas announced his intention to run for one of the newly drawn seats in 2012.

For more than a decade, there has been talk of a Latino congressional seat in the northern San Fernando Valley. Much of the district is represented by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Sherman Oaks), who was protected by state lawmakers during the last round of political map-making 10 years ago.

Berman now finds himself drawn into the same district as Rep. Brad Sherman, a fellow Democrat. Cardenas will run in a new district which is more than two-thirds Latino and has no congressional incumbent living within its borders.

Cardenas, a former state Assemblyman who represents the northeastern part of the Valley on the City Council, said Friday, “People have been urging me to run for Congress, and I’m very proud to have the chance to be the first Latino to represent the San Fernando Valley in Congress.”

The new Valley seat is just one of the pickups for Latinos in the latest round of political maps. In San Diego County, Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) announced he would run for mayor of San Diego rather than seek reelection in a new, heavily Latino seat. State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) has already announced his intention to run for the congressional seat next year.

--Anthony York in Sacramento

 
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