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Democrat Muratsuchi adds GOP support in Assembly race

June 22, 2012 |  3:21 pm

Democrat Al Muratsuchi, running for an Assembly seat in a South Bay “swing” district, racked up another Republican endorsement on Friday.

Torrance City Councilman Bill Sutherland said in a statement released by the Muratsuchi campaign that he was “proud to give my wholehearted endorsement” to the Torrance school board member and deputy state attorney general.  “I’m supporting Al because I believe we need common sense solutions and not extreme ideology in Sacramento,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland had backed Republican aerospace engineer Nathan Mintz of Redondo Beach in the June 5 primary but Mintz lost a place on the ballot to Republican businessman Craig Huey of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  Huey is widely viewed as more conservative than Mintz, and several prominent GOP moderates are backing Muratsuchi, including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka and Palos Verdes Estates Mayor George F. Bird Jr.

The newly drawn 66th Assembly District is nearly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, with about one-fifth of voters declining to choose a party. Registration and the area’s moderate voting history suggest that the seat could be won  Nov. 6 by either party, and leaders of both are targeting the race. Both candidates are expected to court unaffiliated and opposite-party voters.

Under the state’s new primary system, in which Muratsuchi placed first and Huey second, only the top two primary finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

--Jean Merl


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Photo: A worker hauls mailed ballots to be counted during the June Primary.

Credit: Los Angeles Times