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Former Gov. Deukmejian endorses in South Bay Assembly race

November 16, 2011 |  7:24 pm

Former Gov. George Deukmejian on Wednesday endorsed aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz for a newly drawn state Assembly seat.  The  Mintz campaign announced the former GOP governor’s backing one day after Republican businessman Craig Huey jumped into the race for the South Bay based- 66th District seat. With Democratic and Republican registration nearly evenly divided, the district is likely to be targeted by both major parties in next year’s election.  Torrance school board member Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat, also is running.

 Three Democratic state legislators have added their names to the endorsements list of former Assemblyman  Tom Calderon, who hopes to return to the Legislature’s lower house next year from the open seat in the 58th District in southeast Los Angeles County.  Backing Calderon are state Sen. Juan Vargas of San Diego, state Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina and Assemblyman Isadore Hall of Compton.  Downey Councilman Luis Marquez,  a Democrat, also  is running for the seat.

Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, a Democrat who is running for the 41st Assembly District seat, collected backing from Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park),  Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and  from Bass’ predecessor,  former Democratic Rep. Diane Watson.

Chu and Watson also have endorsed Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) in her race for  the Westside-based 50th District.  Butler is competing with activist Torie Osborn and Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, both Democrats, for the open seat.

 Former Democratic Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg has endorsed fellow Democrat Luis Lopez in the crowded race for the 51st Assembly District seat in northeast Los Angeles.

For  his run for the San Gabriel Valley-based 49th Assembly District, former Rosemead Mayor John Tran added several elected school board members to his list of backers. They include  Cung Nguyen of the Arcadia Unified School District and Cathi  Eredia and Kien Lam, both, recently elected to the El Monte School District board.  Tran is a member of the El Monte Union High School District board.

California Democratic Party Secretary Reginald Jones-Sawyer added two more labor unions to his supporters in his run for the new 59th Assembly District seat in Los Angeles.  They are the Laborers (LiUNA) Local 300 and the United Assn. Local 78 Plumbers. Several other candidates are eyeing the open seat.

 Raul Bocanegra is hoping  to succeed his termed-out boss, Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes (D-Sylmar), next year and has been collecting support from area elected officials, most recently from six Latino legislators, all Democrats.  They are Assembly members Nora Campos of San Jose; Ben Hueso of Logan Heights; Roger Hernandez of West Covina; Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens; Henry Perea of Fresno; and V. Manuel Perez of Coachella.  Fuentes endorsed Bocanegra earlier, as did state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), among others.  Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon also is running.

 --Jean Merl