Here Are All The Candidates Running To Fill Jimmy Gomez's Former Seat In The State Assembly
After Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez won the special election to fill State Attorney General Xavier Becerra's seat for Congressional District CA-34, it became clear another special election would arise to fill Gomez's Assembly seat, therefore prolonging what appears to be a never-ending election season in Los Angeles. The primary for the election will happen in October, and the final election will occur in December. The district includes most of northeastern Los Angeles. Filing to run for the 51st District State Assembly seat ended Thursday, and the final list of candidates is as follows:
Something of note? Not a single GOP candidate is in the race (only 9% of the district is registered as a Republican).
Here's a breakdown of each of the candidates:
Andrew S. Aguero
Aguero is a construction worker and student. He's a first-generation American citizen whose parents moved to the U.S. from Peru. He is the only libertarian on the ballot and wants to take a shot at "career politicians" and champions lower taxes and school choice.
Birnbaum is a physician whose parents moved to the U.S. from Argentina. He focuses on fighting for affordable healthcare (specifically supporting SB-54, a.k.a. California's single payer bill) and changing campaign finance laws.
Carillo is journalist/community advocate and no stranger to running for office (she ran against Gomez to replace Becerra). She grew up in Boyle Heights and ran the show "Knowledge is Power" on Power 106 for 10 years. Her priorities are supporting the minimum wage transition, improving education access for communities of color, and funding efforts to build affordable housing.
Alex De Ocampo
De Ocampo is a charitable foundation adviser and the son of Filipino immigrants. He wants to focus on child care, job training, and affordable health care. He's been endorsed by former City Councilwoman and City Clerk Wendy Greuel.
Fong is a Los Angeles Community College district board member and Director of Policy and Government Relations for the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. He also worked for former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former City Councilman Ed Reyes. His focus is primarily on education and workforce training.
Koppula is a self-described government innovator and was a Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2016. He does not have a website outlining his stance on local issues, but based on his social media presence he seems to have a focus on technological innovation and addressing sexism in the workplace.
López is a nonprofit healthcare director who had served as president of the East Area Planning Commission. He champions healthcare for all, affordable housing, and environmental protections (District 51 includes a large section of the L.A. River).
LAist has reached out to Olmos about his stances on local issues and has yet to hear back.
Prysner is a warehouse operations coordinator and the only Peace and Freedom Party candidate on the ballot. LAist has reached out to Prysner about his stances on local issues and has yet to hear back.
Sandoval is a civil rights and education law attorney. He grew up in Cypress Park and had worked in the Obama administration and for former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. His focus is on battling civil rights discrimination, protecting the environment, creating more jobs, and protecting small businesses.
Torres is a union member advocate. LAist has reached out to Torres about her stances on local issues and has yet to hear back.
Vargas is an environmental and education commissioner and the son of immigrants. He has worked in politics under former governor Gray Davis and is now an investor in projects across Latin America and California. He believes in investing in public schools and making education more affordable, as well as attracting job growth in California.
Vela is a professor at East Los Angeles College and Senior Vice President at Lee Andrews Group, a public outreach firm in downtown L.A. He has worked for State Assembly members and former governor Gray Davis. He believes in championing LGBT rights and improving voting access for immigrants.