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Two Candidates Emerge In Contest For 49th Assembly District Seat In The San Gabriel Valley

Two voters leave after casting their ballots at the LA County Arboretum Botanic Garden voting center in Arcadia.  A sign in the foreground with a large arrow and an enlarged 'I Voted' sticker points to the polling site.
Voters taking part in a 2020 election in Arcadia, part of the 49th Assembly District.
(FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
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After Assemblymember Ed Chau gave up his 49th Assembly District seat this month to become a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, multiple names surfaced as potential replacements.

But just two people filed to run to replace the Monterey Park Democrat in an April special election by Tuesday evening’s deadline, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder.

Democrat Mike Fong serves as a trustee on the board of L.A. County Community College District. He works for the City of L.A. in its Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils.

Republican candidate Burton Brink is a retired sergeant with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. He has sought the 49th Assembly seat twice before, losing both times to Chau in the Democratic-leaning district.

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The winner will finish out the remainder of Chau’s term, which ends in December 2022. The general election is April 19.

There is still time for write-in candidates to emerge. The nomination period is open until Feb. 1, ahead of the Feb. 15 primary election.

The new assemblymember will represent a district with one of the country’s largest concentrations of Asian American voters who live in Asian-majority cities in east San Gabriel Valley such as Alhambra, Arcadia, San Gabriel and San Marino.

This month, the boundaries of the 49th Assembly District were adjusted as part of a statewide redistricting process to account for population shifts, but the Asian-majority cities remain together.

Have a question about Southern California's Asian American communities?
Josie Huang reports on the intersection of being Asian and American and the impact of those growing communities in Southern California.

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