Voting Underway In 34th Congressional District Race

April 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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
Lincoln Heights.

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 .

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