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Assembly candidates tout backers

October 16, 2011 | 10:27 pm

Supporters are busy lining up behind candidates in two already crowded contests in Assembly districts friendly to Democrats. 

They include those in the San Fernando Valley's newly drawn 46th District, where a four-way race among Democrats is in full swing. Businesswoman Laurette Healey added the backing of the California Black Chamber of Commerce and several  leaders of the gay and lesbian community, including, locally, West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Prang.

Competitor Adrin Nazarian, chief of staff to City Councilman Paul Krekorian, announced endorsements from 19 area community and political leaders.  They include John Walker, president of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, and Marlene Bane, a member of the Jewish Home for the Aging board of governors.  The other Democrats in next June's primary are attorney Andrew Lachman and charter schools executive Brian C. Johnson. 

In Los Angeles' 51st District, Luis Lopez , president of the East Area Planning Commission, added state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) to his list of "more than 51 community leaders" in the district who endorse him.  He faces competition from fellow Democrats  Arturo Chavez, an aide to termed out Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles), nurses union leader Jimmy Gomez and businessman Oscar Gutierrez. 

On the Republican side, Phil Paule, an aide to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) announced backing from former Assembly GOP leader Bill Leonard in the Inland Empire's newly drawn 67th District. Issa and former state Sen. Ray Haynes also endorsed Paule, who faces competition from several other Republicans eyeing the race in this GOP stronghold.

--Jean Merl