After serving in Congress for nearly a quarter century, Rep. Xavier Becerra said this morning that he had accepted Gov. Jerry Brown’s nomination to serve as state attorney general. The campaign to replace Becerra began soon after. In fact, it began within an hour of the governor’s announcement. One former state official said he was going to run to represent California’s 34th congressional district while some Eastside councilmembers were said to be potential contenders.
The 34th congressional district includes most of the Eastside. It stretches from Boyle Heights and City Terrace to Eagle Rock and Highland Park and also includes Downtown L.A., Koreatown and the portion of Echo Park south of the 101 Freeway.
Brown’s decision to have Becerra replace Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month, comes only a few weeks after Becerra was re-elected with nearly 79% of the vote. Now it looks like the voters in the 34th district will soon have to return to the polls to elect a replacement. If Becerra’s nomination is approved by both houses of the state legislature, a special election would have to be held, most likely in the late spring of 2017, according to The L.A. Times.
A springtime election won’t give candidates much time to prepare, fundraise and campaign for the race. Former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez wasted no time, announcing his candidacy this morning and receiving the endorsement of former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa soon after, reports the Sacramento Bee.
The Bee also mentioned that 1st District Councilman Gil Cedillo, who is running for re-election, could be a possible candidate. A Cedillo aide told the Bee that the councilman “remained focused on reelection to the city council in March, but that he was still exploring all of his options.”
Meanwhile, Roll Call said that 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar “may start with the highest name recognition and has proven to be a strong fundraiser.” The publication also mentioned that school board member Monica Garcia and state Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, who lives in Angeleno Heights, were also “in the mix” of potential candidates.
One Eastside politician who said he is not interested in running for Becerra’s seat is State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, according to the Sacramento Bee.
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