Carrillo Wins 51st Assembly Seat

December 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Community activist Wendy Carrillo will take office in January when the Assembly begins the second year of a two-year session after defeating fellow Democrat Luis Lopez in a special election to represent the 51st District.

Lopez conceded defeat Tuesday night telling supporters, “It did not happen for us tonight.”

Carrillo defeated Lopez, 52.83 percent-47.17 percent, according to semi- official results released Tuesday by Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Carrillo received 8,811 votes to 7,868 for Lopez, a nonprofit health care director.

Many provisional and vote by mail ballots remain to be counted, with an updated count to be released Friday, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan said. However, they are not expected to change the outcome.

Carrillo, who was brought to the country as an “undocumented immigrant” from El Salvador as a child and became a U.S. citizen in her 20s, was a host and producer on the “Knowledge is Power” radio program on Power 106 FM, discussing topics ranging from access to higher education to political transparency. She also worked with the Service Employees International Union, supporting organizing efforts by long-term care workers.

“I will never stop fighting for everyone to have a voice in our political system, and will fight to deliver high-wage jobs, affordable housing and improve access to health care while working toward universal health care,” Carrillo told City News Service.

Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said Carrillo has shown “exceptional leadership in making our state one of opportunity and inclusion.

“Wendy has stood with workers to bring the California Dream within reach of families by fighting for a $15 wage, cracking down on wage theft and discrimination, and working to achieve health care for all, among other progressive initiatives,” Hicks said.

Carrillo finished sixth in a field of 24 candidates in April’s special election in the 34th Congressional District. She said she ran for the Assembly “to be a leader for the people and to advance the values our families care about— opportunity, equality and fairness.”

She quickly earned the support of several prominent women, including elected officials who pledged to support a woman candidate when no woman made a major showing during the congressional race.

Wendy Carrillo wins special ection for 51st Assembly District. (Courtesy Wendy Carrillo)

Wendy Carrillo wins special ection for 51st Assembly District. (Courtesy Wendy Carrillo)

Carrillo and Lopez topped a 13-candidate field in the Oct. 3 special election, with Carrillo receiving 5,058 votes, 22.2 percent, and Lopez 4,243, 18.6 percent. A runoff was required because no candidate had more than 50 percent of the vote.

The special election was prompted by then-Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s election to Congress in a special election June 6.

Carrillo issued a statement Wednesday thanking her campaign team and supporters, “ from working men and women in the labor movement, to organizations dedicated to protecting our most vulnerable communities, including immigrants, women, the elderly, those with disabilities, communities of color and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters” for their tireless work to “ensure this victory.”

“We need to continue standing together to protect our shared progressive values from the unprecedented attacks being levied by the Trump Administration,” she added.

“There are critical issues ahead, and I’m looking forward to getting to Sacramento, rolling up my sleeves, and working hard to deliver for our district and our state.”

The district includes Echo Park, Chinatown, Glassell Park, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, El Sereno, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, East Los Angeles and a portion of Silver Lake.

EGP staff writers contributed to this report.


Dates Set for Special Election to Replace Gomez in Assembly

July 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Campaigning has been underway for months, but Gov. Jerry Brown this week made official, announcing the dates for a Special Election to fill the 51st Assembly District seat left vacant when Jimmy Gomez was elected to the House of Representatives.

The primary will be held Oct. 3. If no candidate receives 50% plus one vote, a runoff will take place on Dec. 5.

Voters in the 51st district, which runs from Echo Park, through Eagle Rock, Highland Park and on to East L.A., have had to contend with an unusually high number of elections in recent months, a domino reaction to the governor’s appointment of former Congressman Xavier Becerra to California Attorney General at the start of the year. Gomez won election to Becerra’s congressional seat, leaving his state assembly seat up for grabs.

More than a dozen candidates have already announced their election bids.

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