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Candidates pick up pace as elections filing nears

December 15, 2011 |  4:12 pm

As the Dec. 30  official start of next year’s campaign season nears,  the pace is picking up for those already seeking seats in the state Legislature, mostly in the Assembly:

In the San Fernando Valley’s new 46th District, businesswoman Laurette Healey, one of several Democrats running for this seat, recently announced endorsements from Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park) and Scott Svonkin, a board member of the Los Angeles Community College District.

In the Westside’s new 50th District, Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) added endorsements from Sierra Club California and six more labor organizations, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 11, the National Assn. of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO and three locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers.  One of her competitors, Democratic activist Torie Osborn, said she has secured backing from “more than 190” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community leaders.  Another Democrat in the race is Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom. 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has picked his favorite in the crowded race for the 51st District in northeast Los Angeles—nurses union official Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat who lives in Echo Park.

Former Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, who hopes to return to the Legislature’s lower chamber from the new 57th District, announced backing from four current or former  members of the La Mirada City Council.  They are current Councilmen Gave Garcia, Steve De Ruse and Lawrence Mowles and former Councilman Hal Malkin.  Among the three other Democrats seeking that seat in southeast Los Angeles County,  consultant Kevin Perez-Allen received support from Pico Rivera City Councilman Gregory Salcido and Councilman-elect Brent Tercero.

Former Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon, seeking a return to the lower chamber from the 58th District, racked up endorsements from Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Torlakson’s predecessor, Jack O’Connell, both Democrats. State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) also endorsed Calderon, of Montebello.

In the new 59th District, which runs from Walnut Park  through parts of South Los Angeles, California Democratic Party official Reginald Jones-Sawyer won the endorsement of former Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles).  This week, Efren Martinez, executive director of the Florence-Firestone/Walnut Park Chamber of Commerce and a Democrat,  formally added his name to the list of candidates.

In the newly draw 64th District, where the seat could become open if two area  incumbents don’t seek reelection, Councilman Mike Gipson announced support from seven area elected school or college district board members, including John P. Hamilton of the Compton Community College District board and three members of the Los Angeles Unified School District board, Marguerite Poindexter  LaMotte, Richard Vladovic and Steve Zimmer. Compton school board member Michah Ali, also a Democrat, is the other announced candidate.

On the state Senate side, Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona) has picked up endorsements from 24 members of  seven city councils in the open 31st District seat he is seeking.  Among them are Corona Mayor Eugene Montanez and Riverside Councilmen Chris MacArthur and Steve Adams.


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--Jean Merl