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California environmental group names its favorites for 2012 legislative races

November 18, 2011 |  4:08 pm

Filing hasn’t even begun for next year’s candidates for the state Legislature, but many races already are well underway, and the California League of Conservation Voters isn’t letting any grass grow under its feet either. The league on Friday announced its choices among incumbents and newcomers trying for seats in Sacramento.

The 36 endorsed candidates represent “the best and brightest environmental champions for state Assembly and state Senate,” Warner Chabot, chief executive officer of the organization, said in a news release announcing its picks — nine newcomers, 22 Assembly incumbents and five Senate incumbents.

The early endorsements, in a year expected to yield more competitive seats because of new political maps and the state’s revamped elections system, provide “a unique opportunity … to elect a conservation majority,” said Rick Zbur, chairman of the league’s board.

Among some of the LA.-area candidates in contested races who won the league’s endorsement were Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey), Torrance school board member Al Muratsuchi (a Democrat running in a new South Bay Assembly district) and Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, a Democrat who is running for Assembly.

-- Jean Merl