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Candidates for Legislature tout endorsements

November 13, 2011 | 10:43 pm

Several candidates for the Legislature in next year's elections announced endorsements last week.

Equality California, a civil rights group supporting the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, has endorsed Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) for the newly drawn 50th Assembly District.  Butler's main competition for the Westside-area seat, activist Torie Osborn, received backing from Teamsters Joint Council 42.

California Democratic Party officer Reginald Jones-Sawyer added to his list of backers Assemblyman Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and the Los Angeles Professional Managers Assn., an SEIU Local 721 affiliate. Jones-Sawyer is running for the newly drawn 59th Assembly District seat in Los Angeles.

Torrance Unified School District board member Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat, has been endorsed by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) in his bid for the open 66th Assembly District seat in the South Bay.  Muratsuchi's Republican competitor, aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz of Redondo Beach, has added two more local elected official to his list of backers.  They are Rolling Hills Estates Councilman Frank Zerunyan and Bill Beverly, president of the El Camino College Community College board.

Registration in the 66th District is nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, giving the race the potential for being one of the top targets for both parties next year.

 Former Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, a Democrat, is trying to return to the state Assembly by running in the newly drawn 57th District in southeast Los Angeles County.  He recently won the endorsement of the Teamsters Join Council 42. Several other Democrats are eyeing the race, including Ian Calderon, son of termed out incumbent Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier).

The California Federation of Teachers is supporting labor leader Jimmy Gomez of Echo Park for the new 51st Assembly District seat in the northeast Los Angeles area. Several other Democrats are seeking to succeed termed-out Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles). 

Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona) has been endorsed by Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit in Miller's run for the newly drawn 31st State Senate District seat in the Inland Empire. Former Assemblyman Steve Clute, a Democrat, also is running.

--Jean Merl