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Andrew Westall drops bid for Assembly, citing death of Wesson staffer Charmette Bonpua

February 16, 2010 | 10:28 am

Andrew Westall, a staffer for Los Angeles Councilman Herb Wesson, announced Tuesday he was dropping his bid to replace Paul Krekorian in the state Assembly. Westall said he was suspending his candidacy after the unexpected death of Wesson's chief of staff, Charmette Bonpua, over the weekend, which he said "took a personal toll."

“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in my life, and I make it without reservation, regret or purpose of evasion,” Westall said in a statement Tuesday.

Other candidates for the seat include attorney Mike Gatto and Glendale school board member Nayiri Nahabedian. The election is set for April 13.

Bonpua died unexpectedly in Las Vegas over the weekend of a brain aneurysm.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento