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Special Election To Fill Xavier Becerra's Congressional Seat Set For June 6

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Xavier Becerra. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Former congressman Xavier Becerra was sworn in on Tuesday by Governor Jerry Brown as California’s attorney general, and on Wednesday Brown announced a special election on June 6 to determine Becerra's replacement. A primary was also called for April 4.

The vacant seat is for the 34th Congressional District in Los Angeles, which includes downtown L.A., Boyle Heights, and Chinatown.

Word of Becerra's appointment first cropped up in early December. And since then there has been much conjecture as to who would run for his seat. Former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez was cited as front-runner, but he announced and subsequently canceled his plans to run, saying that health reasons were barring him from running a campaign. L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar was also mulling a run, though that never came to fruition. Now that Becerra has been sworn in, however, we're getting a clearer picture of the candidate pool.

As noted by the L.A. Times, at least 18 candidates have publicly announced that they're running. Among the more notable names are Robert Lee Ahn, an L.A. city planning commissioner appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Arturo Carmona, ex-deputy political director for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Wendy Carrillo, a labor activist and former journalist, Steven Mac, deputy district attorney for L.A. County, and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez.

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To no one's surprise, the pool is overwhelmingly Democratic, as the 34th Congressional District is deeply blue. There are some outliers, however, such as Green Party member Kenneth Mejia, who at 26 may be the youngest person running for the seat.

As noted at KPCC, Becerra had been in the House for 24 years, so the vacancy is a rare one.