Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez will likely face Los Angeles Planning Commissioner and Attorney Robert Lee Ahn in a June 6 runoff in the 34th Congressional District special election, according to semi-official election results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
The seat was left vacant by former Rep. Xavier Becerra’s move to Sacramento to become the state’s attorney general.
Gomez and Ahn pulled to the front of the pack of 24 candidates, 19 of them, like Gomez and Ahn, Democrats looking to represent the overwhelmingly Democratic district. Most of the candidates have never held elective office, with the exception of Gomez and former Los Angeles Unified School District board member Yolie Flores.
Gomez, D-Eagle Rock, led the field with 8,156 votes, or 28.14 percent, with Ahn coming in second with 5,504 votes, or 18.99 percent, according to the county’s unofficial election results.
Democrat Maria Cabildo, an economic development director, was third with 2,778 votes, 9.58 percent.
According to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, about 13,400 ballots still need to be counted, including questioned ballots and vote-by-mail ballots that were turned in at polling places Tuesday or are received in the mail by Friday – but postmarked on or before election day. The next update of the count is expected to be released Friday afternoon.
Because no candidate received a majority, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held June 6.
The district stretches roughly from Koreatown in the west to the Long Beach (710) Freeway in the east and from the Santa Monica (10) Freeway in the south to the Ventura (134) Freeway in the north. It includes downtown Los Angeles, the Westlake district, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights.
Twenty-three of the candidates were on the official ballot. The 24th candidate, Michelle Walker, a Democrat and community activist, qualified as a write-in candidate. Her vote total was not available Wednesday.
It’s noteworthy that more than half the candidates vying for the seat are women, many who said during candidate forums they were inspired to run following the Pres. Trump’s election, which triggered marches in support of women’s rights across the country.
Absent a major shift in the voting trend, it’s unlikely, though not impossible, one of the women candidates will pick up enough votes to move ahead of Gomez or Ahn for a place in the runoff.
It’s more likely outstanding votes for a woman will be distributed amongst all the female candidates.
The apparent failure for a woman to make it to runoff now has some political advocates looking to replace Gomez in the Assembly, should he be elected, with a woman.
Former state senator Martha Escutia, in a Facebook posting, asked if she was “naïve” to think that the women could have sat together and “agreed on ONE woman candidate to run?”
“Am I naive to hope for this?? I sincerely hope that Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez endorses a woman to replace him in the State Legislature!” she wrote Wednesday.
She called on women candidates to “consolidate please, no more debacles!”
Also coming up short were candidates with ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president. It was initially thought those ties could play in their favor in the congressional district because Sanders won the majority vote over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
But with semi-official election results putting the voter turnout at about 9 percent, some political observers are questioning whether the fervor seeing during the presidential campaign can be sustained.
It may come as a surprise, but there is an election going on today in Los Angeles.
Two dozen candidates are vying in a special election today to fill the 34th Congressional District seat left vacant by former Rep. Xavier Becerra’s move to Sacramento to become the state’s attorney general.
The district stretches roughly from Koreatown in the west to the Long Beach (710) Freeway in the east and from the Santa Monica (10) Freeway in the south to the Ventura (134) Freeway in the north. It includes downtown Los Angeles, the Westlake district, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights and
If no candidate receives a majority today, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held June 6. Because of the large field, no candidate is expected to receive a majority.
Twenty-three people appear on the ballot, 19 of them Democrats looking to represent the overwhelmingly Democratic district. Most of the candidates have never held elective office, with the exception of Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Eagle Rock, and former Los Angeles Unified School District board member Yolie Flores.
Becerra endorsed Gomez, who said he hopes to “continue to build an inclusive and diverse country that values people from all walks of life.”
Flores, a Democrat, told City News Service she hopes to be “the stronger, louder voice for children and families that we need in Washington,” now that “everything we believe in and have ever fought for is in jeopardy.”
Several candidates, including Democrats Arturo Carmona, a campaign advisor, and community advocate and journalist Wendy Carrillo have ties to the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign, which could play in their favor in the congressional district given that Sanders won the majority vote over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The one Republican on the ballot, business owner William “Rodriguez” Morrison, has made unsuccessful runs for elected offices. There is also one candidate each from the Green and Libertarian parties, certified public accountant Kenneth Mejia and tenants’ rights paralegal Angela E. McArdle.
Immigration law administrator Mark Edward Padilla did not state a party preference.
Gomez, according to the most recent financial disclosures, raised the most in campaign donation.
Other Democrats appearing on the ballot are:
—Robert Ahn, an attorney;
—Vanessa Aramayo, an anti-poverty nonprofit adviser;
—Maria Cabildo, an economic development director;
—Alejandra Campoverdi, a community advocate;
—Ricardo de la Fuente, a businessman;
—Adrienne Nicole Edwards, community organizer;
—Melissa Garza, businesswoman/producer;
—Sara Hernandez, education nonprofit director;
—Steven Mac, a deputy district attorney;
—Sandra Mendoza, public administrator;
—Raymond Meza, community organizer;
—Armando Sotomayor, community volunteer;
—Richard Sullivan, attorney;
—Tracy Van Houten, an aerospace engineer; and
—Tenaya Wallace, a civic engagement strategist.
—Michelle Walker, a Democrat and community activist, qualified as a write-in candidate, bringing the field of candidates to 24.
The polls close at 8:00 p.m. Polling place information can be found at http://www.lavote.net/docs/rrcc/election-info/04042017_polling-place-report.pdf .
On Tuesday, April 4, a Special Election will be held to fill the 34th Congressional seat left vacant when Xavier Becerra became California’s attorney general.
It’s the first opportunity in a very long time that the election will not be dominated by a well-funded and popular incumbent, giving a real fighting chance for someone new to represent the district that happens to be one of the most diversely populated – at least ethnically if not politically or ideologically – in the region.
The list of candidates vying for the seat is long, with 23 on the actual ballot and one approved write-in candidate hoping to make it to a run off, if not win the seat outright.
While it is usually Eastern Group Publications/EGP News’ policy to endorse at the Primary Election stage, we are not making an endorsement at this time.
With seats in the House of Representatives so rarely open, many not for decades, EGP believes it’s important that every candidate in this race be allowed to run on her or his own merits and platform, unencumbered by the endorsements that usually come in early and favor the most politically connected candidates.
That being said, we are very excited by the crop of new candidates inspired to run for office for the first time. Many have deep roots as activists in our local communities, acting as agents of change.
Forums and meet the candidates events have been held across the 34th District during this highly condensed campaign season; video recordings of those sessions are on the Facebook pages of several local neighborhood councils.
Today, we are endorsing hope for a large voter turnout. We ask that all registered voters take their obligation to vote as seriously as the candidates running for the 34th Congressional District.
If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the vote total, the two highest vote-getters will face off in a June runoff. If that happens, EGP will make an endorsement at that time.
In the meantime, we wish all the candidates good luck.
Former teacher and nonprofit leader Sara Hernandez announced her candidacy Tuesday for the 34th Congressional District seat, expected to be vacated when Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, is confirmed as the state’s next attorney general.
Hernandez joins Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, journalist Wendy Carrillo and activist Kenneth Mejia in declaring their intent to run for the seat.
“We need to send a fighter and a doer to Washington with the on-the-ground experience and understanding of how public policy decisions affect everyday Angelenos,” Hernandez said. “As a former middle school teacher, I know how to deal with bullies. With Donald Trump threatening so many of our communities, I’m prepared to stand up and defend our immigrants, our public schools, our environment and our parents’ and grandparents’ retirement security.”
Hernandez has been executive director of Coro Southern California, a national leadership program. She is also a former special counsel to City Councilman Jose Huizar.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Becerra to succeed Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month. If confirmed by the state Senate and Assembly – as expected – Becerra will serve the final two years of Harris’ term and become California’s first Hispanic attorney general.
A special election would be held to fill Becerra’s seat, which represents large parts of east Los Angeles County.
On Saturday, citing health concerns, former state Assembly Speaker John Perez took himself out of the running for the seat. Perez had announced his intention to run on Dec. 1.
Los Angeles City Councilmen David Ryu, Gil Cedillo and Huizar have all declined to enter the race.