Crowded CA 34

Gov. Jerry Brown has called a special election June 6 and a primary April 4 to replace Xavier Becerra in the 34th Congressional district. The Progressive Caucus member's departure after 24 years in the House creates an unexpected opening in the heavily Democratic district that includes downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Chinatown and Highland Park.

At least a dozen people have expressed interest in running. Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez raised $300,000 in December for the race. According to the L.A. Times,ormer LA City Council staffer Sara Hernandez attracted the second largest amount, $200,000; followed by former Obama administration aide Alejandra Campoverdi with $106,000 and Arturo Carmona, most recently the deputy political
director for Latino outreach for the Bernie Sanders campaign and executive director of, with $93,000.

Gomez has the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest public employee union in the nation; at the time he was elected to the state assembly, he was political director for the United Nurses Association of California. Other candidates in the race also have backgrounds in organized labor: Wendy Carrillo is a former journalist and local labor activist and Raymond Meza is an organizer for the Service Employees International Union Local 721, which was central in the "Fight for $15" campaign to increase the minimum wage.

Jimmy Gomez is far and away the front runner, but if Arturo Carmona gains the endorsement of the Sanders organization and is able to raise a commensurate amount of dough, at least the campaign will be more interesting to watch.

Every race for Congress counts now, and this is an opportunity to preserve progressive numbers in the federal legislature.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez racks up endorsements from Latino elected officials in fight for Becerra's congressional eat. (L.A. Times)

Arturo for Congress

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