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Diane Watson backs at least two candidates for same Assembly seat

December 30, 2011 |  6:17 pm

Former Rep. Diane E. Watson has long been known for mentoring younger African Americans who aspire to political careers, so it’s hardly any wonder that the Los Angeles Democrat’s endorsement is especially sought after. It’s just that sometimes she doesn’t want to choose among deserving candidates, she said.

So when California Democratic Party official Reginald Jones-Sawyer asked for her support in his quest for an open Los Angeles-area Assembly seat, Watson said she got on board. “You can use my name,” she said she told Jones-Sawyer, who works for the city of Los Angeles.

But when Social Security activist Greg Akili, who is seeking the same 59th District seek as Jones-Sawyer, also asked Watson to back him, she said yes to Akili too.

“They are all my friends,” Watson said of Akili, Jones-Sawyer and other, unnamed supplicants. “I like them and I support them all…. I don’t like to choose one over the other, so may the best person win.”

Four others have taken steps to run for the open seat in the newly drawn district.

Candidates in other Assembly races for next year also have been busy lining up supporters. In the crowded contest for an open San Fernando Valley seat, attorney Andrew Lachman announced his endorsement by Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) and several local elected officials.

One of Lachman’s Democratic rivals for the 46th District -- Adrin Nazarian, an aide to L.A. Councilman Paul Krekorian -- secured the endorsement of the Los Angeles Airport Police. Another, charter schools executive Brian C. Johnson, scored backing from former L.A. City Controller Rick Tuttle and former Democratic Assemblyman Richard Katz, who used to represent part of the Valley.

Running for the 51st District seat, Luis Lopez, president of the city of Los Angeles’ East Area Planning Commission, announced his endorsement by Sheet Metal Workers Local 105. And Anthony Rendon, a Democrat in the contest for the 63rd District in southeast L.A. County,  collected support from former Democratic Assemblyman Hector de la Torre.


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