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LAist)
California State Assembly
Last year, the state legislature eliminated single-family zoning and created a reparations task force. There are 24 Assembly seats up for grabs in L.A. County this year.

What does a California Assemblymember do?

The California Assembly is one-half of our state legislature. Along with the State Senate, it essentially serves as California’s Congress.

New Voter Game Plan For The November 2022 Elections Coming Soon! Check Back In Early October. Have a question in the meantime? Ask it now, we're here to help.

State lawmakers draft and pass laws that govern the entire state. These laws can provide benefits that aren’t granted by the federal government, such as paid family leave or in-state tuition for undocumented college students. They can impose rules that apply statewide, like restrictions on buying guns, prohibiting recording calls without consent, or not allowing restaurants to provide single-use plastic straws unless a customer requests it. They can also set minimum standards for the state and allow cities and counties to go further — for instance, the state minimum wage is $15 an hour for businesses with more than 25 employees, but the city of L.A.’s hourly minimum wage will go up to $16.04 starting July 2022.

There are 80 assembly districts across California, each with its own assemblymember. L.A. County alone has 24 of those districts. Each member serves two-year terms.

If you’ve voted in previous elections, your assembly district may have changed because of last year’s redistricting process, which happens once a decade after the Census count. You can enter your address into this tool from CalMatters to see whether your district has changed.

Around three-quarters of lawmakers in both California’s Assembly and State Senate are Democrats, meaninjamesg we don’t just have Democratic majorities, but supermajorities. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy to pass bills, though. There are still divisions among lawmakers that lead to drawn-out arguments and prevent legislation from moving forward.

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The June 7 vote is a primary vote. That means that the two candidates who receive the most votes in a district, regardless of their party, will continue on to the general election in November, and the person who wins the most votes in November is the one elected to office.

You might recognize their work from…

In recent years, the legislature has:

What’s on the agenda for the next term?

California has a lot of problems to tackle — wildfires, climate change, the highest poverty rate in the country, skyrocketing housing prices, threats of new COVID-19 surges, and falling enrollment in public schools and community colleges, to name a few. The legislature will have to figure out ways to address all of these issues and accommodate whatever new problems may arise.

Where do they go from here?

Seats in the state legislature don’t get a lot of attention, but they’re good resume-building positions that can propel people to prominent positions in local, state and federal government. Former California assemblymembers include L.A. mayoral candidates Karen Bass (currently a U.S. representative) and Mike Feuer (currently L.A. city attorney), as well as U.S. Representative and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

More reading


The Candidates

Here are all the candidates running for 24 Assembly seats in L.A. County. We’ve listed each candidate’s title, party affiliation, campaign website, and campaign finance where information was available. For sitting members of the Assembly, we’ve also included links to their profiles in CalMatters’ Legislator tracker. The top two candidates in each district, regardless of party, will compete in the runoff election in November.

Three races in L.A. County are considered highly competitive: District 34, District 39 and District 40.


Assembly District 34

From CalMatters’ 2022 Voter Guide:

Hot race / Safe Republican

The District
From the San Andreas Fault to the Nevada border, this district takes in the entirety of California’s high desert — almost. Portions of Palmdale, Lancaster and Victorville — the region’s most multiethnic and Los Angeles-connected towns — were placed into their own Latino-majority district, leaving this one more rural and more conservative.

Voter registration: 31.4% Democratic, 39.4% Republican, 20.2% no party preference

The Scoop
The problem with having an independent redistricting commission is that sometimes it really does behave independently. Just ask Republican Assemblymembers Tom Lackey and Thurston “Smitty” Smith, both living in this new high desert district. Neither moved, so GOP-leaning voters will have to pick their preferred incumbent.

Lackey, a former highway patrolman, has been in the Assembly since 2014 and has developed a reputation as a true moderate, in line with his L.A. County-centered district. Smith is newer to the Capitol and a surer conservative vote.

The big question is whether both incumbents, who dominate the field in terms of name recognition and fundraising, will secure the top two spots and make it to November. Democrats make up a sizable minority of the district’s voters, so if all left-of-center voters rally behind the party’s endorsed candidate, Rita Ramirez Dean, it isn’t likely both Lackey and Smith will survive the primary. But Ramirez has her own flaws: She has run unsuccessfully for state or federal office at least nine times and after recently winning a seat on the Victorville city council, she was kicked off after a majority of her colleagues deemed that she didn’t actually live there.

Rita Ramirez Dean, Retired Professor (Democratic)
Campaign website: none found

Paul Fournier (Republican)
Campaign website: vote4paul.tv/

Raj Kahlon, Real Estate Investor (Democratic)
Campaign website: none found

Tom Lackey, High Desert Assemblyman (Republican)
Campaign website: lackeyforassembly.com
Assembly website: ad36.asmrc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Lackey’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker.

Roger LaPlante, Veterans’ Advocate (No Party Preference)
Campaign website: Twitter
Read more about LaPlante’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Thurston "Smitty" Smith, Assemblyman/Small Businessman (Republican)
Campaign website: joinsmitty.com
Assembly website: ad33.asmrc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Smith’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker


Assembly District 39

From CalMatters’ 2022 Voter Guide:

Hot race / Safe Democratic

The District
This majority-Democrat district covers the northeastern parts of Los Angeles County, including Palmdale, plus cities in San Bernardino County, including Hesperia and Lancaster. The majority of voters here are Latino. The district is a blue cutout in the otherwise conservative-leaning high desert.

Voter registration: Democratic 47.3%, Republican 21.7%, no party preference 22.1%

The Scoop
No incumbent resides in this district, which means it’s an open seat. Democrat Andrea Rosenthal, who previously worked as political director for former Assemblymember Christy Smith, moved to this district to run. She faces fellow Democrats Juan Carillo, a city council member from Palmdale running on his local cred with the backing of many of the state Assembly’s Latino members, and former Assemblymember Steve Fox. A Republican-turned-Democrat who has a strained relationship with the state’s Democratic establishment, Fox lost in 2016 after two lawsuits filed by former staffers, who alleged sexual harassment, being made to work without pay and a hostile work environment.

The lone Republican in the race is Paul Andre Marsh, a veteran and community liaison.

Juan Carrillo, Councilmember, City of Palmdale (Democratic)
Campaign website: votejuancarrillo.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Steve G. Fox, Attorney/Educator (Democratic)
Campaign website: electfox.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Paul Andre Marsh, Community Services Liaison (Republican)
Campaign website: paulmarshforassembly.com

Andrea Rosenthal, Housing Affordability Organizer (Democratic)
Campaign website: andreaforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

*An earlier version of this section incorrectly stated that Rosenthal had earned the California Democratic Party's endorsement. The party actually has no consensus on an endorsement for this race. We've removed the line.


Assembly District 40

From CalMatters’ 2022 Voter Guide:

Hot race / Leans Democratic

The District
Anchored around the former Republican stronghold of Santa Clarita, this district reaches down across the Santa Susana Mountains into the north San Fernando Valley.

Voter registration: Democratic 41.8%, Republican 29.0%, no party preference 22.7%

The Scoop
Assemblymember Suzette Valladares, a Republican, is perhaps the top electoral target of the California Democratic Party. Even without redistricting, she would have been in for a big political fight, having won her seat in 2020 after a legion of little-known Democrats divided up the center-left vote. That left Valladares and another Republican vying to represent a district where Democrats outnumber GOP voters. With the new electoral map, her district is even bluer. In the Legislature, she has voted as one of the most moderate Republican members.

Which Democrat will be the one to take her on? Two, from opposite wings of the party, have risen to the challenge. Pilar Schiavo, who campaigned for California to adopt a single-payer health insurance system as a labor organizer, received the state party’s endorsement, along with the backing of some of the state’s most progressive elected officials. Annie Cho, a South Korean immigrant who runs a public relations firm and finished third in the 2020 primary, is running under the banner of “responsible reform.” She has the backing of some of the Legislature’s more moderate members, along with some of the bigger names in Los Angeles city politics.

Annie E. Cho, Businesswoman (Democratic)
Campaign website: annieforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Pilar Schiavo, Nurse Advocate/Businessperson (Democratic)
Campaign website: pilar4ca.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
Read more about Schiavo’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Suzette Martinez Valladares, Assemblywoman/Educator (Republican)
Campaign website: suzettevalladares.com
Assembly website: ad38.asmrc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Valladares’ Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker.


Assembly District 41

Chris Holden, Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: holdenforassembly.com
Assembly website: a41.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Holden’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker.


Assembly District 42

Jacqui Irwin, State Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: jacquiirwin.com
Assembly website: a44.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Irwin’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker.

Lori Mills, Businesswoman (Republican)
Campaign website: lorimills4stateassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Ted Nordblum, Small Business Owner (Republican)
Campaign website: tednordblum.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
Read more about Nordblum’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge


Assembly District 43

Luz Maria Rivas, Assemblywoman/Science Educator (Democratic)
Campaign website: luzforassembly.com
Assembly website: a39.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Rivas’ Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker.


Assembly District 44

Laura Friedman, Member of the State Assembly (Democratic)
Campaign website: votelaurafriedman.com
Assembly website: a43.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Friedman’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker

Barry Curtis Jacobsen, Business Owner (Republican)
Campaign website: none found
Read more about Jacobsen’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge


Assembly District 46

Dana Caruso, Retired Assistant Principal (Republican)
Campaign website: none found
Read more about Caruso’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Jesse Gabriel, Member of the California State Assembly (Democratic)
Campaign website: jessegabriel.com
Assembly website: a45.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Gabriel’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker 


Assembly District 48

Blanca Rubio, Assemblywoman/Teacher (Democratic)

Campaign website: blancarubio.com 
Assembly website: a48.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Rubio’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker 


Assembly District 49

Burton Brink, Commissioner (Republican)
Campaign website: burtonbrinkca.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
Read more about Brink’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Mike Fong, Member of the State Assembly, 49th District (Democratic)
Campaign website: mikefong.org
Assembly website: mikefong.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Fong’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker 


Assembly District 51

Louis Abramson, Scientist/Community Organizer (Democratic)
Campaign website: louisforca.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Rick Chavez Zbur, Civil Rights Attorney (Democratic)
Campaign website: rickchavezzbur.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website


Assembly District 52

Wendy Carrillo, Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: wendyforassembly.com
Assembly website: a51.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Carrillo’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker

Gia D'Amato, Customer Service Representative (Republican)
Campaign website: giafor2022.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Mia Livas Porter, Environmental Advocate/Parent (Democratic)
Campaign website: miaforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website


Assembly District 53

Toni Holle (Republican)
Campaign website: Facebook page 

Freddie Rodriguez, Assemblymember/First Responder (Democratic)
Campaign website: freddierodriguez.com
Assembly website: a52.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Rodriguez’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker 


Assembly District 54

Miguel Santiago, Member of the State Assembly (Democratic)
Campaign website: santiagoforassembly.com
Assembly website: a53.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Santiago’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  


Assembly District 55

Keith Girolamo Cascio, Software Developer (Republican)
Campaign website: keithfor55.org

Isaac G. Bryan, Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: isaacbryanforca.com
Assembly website: a54.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Bryan’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  


Assembly District 56

Lisa Calderon, Member of the Assembly (Democratic)
Campaign website: lisacalderon4assembly.com
Assembly website: a57.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Calderon’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  

Jessica Martinez, City of Whittier Councilmember (Republican)
Campaign website: Facebook page
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Natasha "Naty" Serrano, Procurement Buyer (Republican)
Campaign website: natashaforassembly.com
Read more about Serrano’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge


Assembly District 57

Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California State Assemblyman (Democratic)
Campaign website: jonessawyerforassembly.com
Assembly website: a59.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Jones-Sawyer’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  


Assembly District 61

Tina Simone McKinnor, Non-Profit Director/Businesswoman (Democratic)
Campaign website: tina4ca.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Robert Pullen-Miles, Mayor (Democratic)
Campaign website: robertpullenmiles.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Angie Reyes English, Councilwoman/Councilman’s Deputy (Democratic)
Campaign website: angieforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website 

Nico Ruderman, Neighborhood Councilmember (Democratic)
Campaign website: nicoruderman.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

James Arlandus Spencer, Environmental Consultant (Republican)
Campaign website: none found


Assembly District 62-2020 Short Term

This is a runoff race from an April 5 special election. The winner will fill the remainder of the Assembly term left vacant after Assemblymember Autumn Burke stepped down in January.

Tina Simone McKinnor, Non-Profit Director/Businesswoman (Democratic)
Campaign website: tina4ca.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Robert Pullen-Miles, Mayor, City of Lawndale (Democratic)
Campaign website: robertpullenmiles.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
Read more about Pullen-Miles’ policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge


Assembly District 62

Maria Estrada, Accountant (Democratic)
Campaign website: Facebook page
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: anthonyrendon.org
Assembly website: speaker.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Rendon’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker


Assembly District 64

Elizabeth Alcantar, Mayor/Community Educator (Democratic)
Campaign website: elizabethalcantar.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
Read more about Alcantar’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Roberto "Rob" Cancio, Doctor/Educator/Businessman (Democratic)
Campaign website: votecancio.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Rose Espinoza, Executive Director/Councilwoman (Democratic)
Campaign website: roseespinoza.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Raul Ortiz, Jr., Pest Control Manager (Republican)
Campaign website: Instagram

Blanca Pacheco, Downey Mayor/Businesswoman (Democratic)
Campaign website: pachecoforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Ana M. Valencia, Teacher/Councilmember (Democratic)
Campaign website: anavalenciaforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

More reading about this race:


Assembly District 65

Mike Anthony Gipson, California State Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: mikegipson.net
Assembly website: a64.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Gipson’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, Public School Teacher (Democratic)
Campaign website: fatimaforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website


Assembly District 66

George Barks, Business Owner (Republican)
Campaign website: none found

Al Muratsuchi, South Bay Assemblymember (Democratic)
Campaign website: al4assembly.com
Assembly website: a66.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Muratsuchi’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker 


Assembly District 67

Param Brar, Defense Contract Manager (Democratic)
Campaign website: parambrar.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Sou Moua, CAD Designer (Republican)
Campaign website: Facebook page

Sharon Quirk-Silva, Assemblymember/Teacher (Democratic)
Campaign website: sharonquirksilva.com
Assembly website: a65.asmdc.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website
See Quirk-Silva’s Assembly record via CalMatters’ Legislator Tracker  

Soo Yoo, School Board President (Republican)
Campaign website: sooyooforassembly.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website


Assembly District 69

Al Austin, II, Long Beach Councilmember (Democratic)
Campaign website: alaustinforassembly.org
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Josh Lowenthal, Small Business Owner (Democratic)
Campaign website: joshlowenthal.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

Merry Taheri, Citizen Police Commissioner (Democratic)
Campaign website: merrytaheri4assembly.com
Read more about Taheri’s policy priorities and experience on Voter’s Edge

Janet Denise Foster, Healthcare Administrator (Democratic)
Campaign website: janetdfoster.com
Campaign finance: See all campaign contributions via the California Secretary of State website

More reading about this race:

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