California's 32nd Congressional District, just east of Los Angeles, is
about 63 percent Latino, 22 percent Asian. It is the seat held since 2001 by
Hilda Solis (D), now the secretary of labor. Prior to that, it was held for 18
years by Matthew Martinez, a Democrat, who lost to Solis in the 2000 primary at
the age of 71 amid charges that he was ineffective and invisible.
But if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, this overwhelmingly
Hispanic district may send an Asian woman, Judy Chu, on her way to Congress in
Tuesday's special primary.
All eyes are on two Democrats who are considered the
Chu, a former member of the Assembly who is currently the chair of the
California Board of Equalization, is one 12 candidates who will appear on the
all-party primary ballot. Under state law, if no one receives a majority of the
vote -- as seems likely -- then the top candidates of each party advance to the
July 14 runoff. (If a candidate breaks 50 percent, then he or she is declared
the winner, with no runoff required.)
But for all intents and purposes, whichever leading Democrat comes out
ahead tomorrow -- Chu or state Sen. Gil Cedillo, a fellow liberal -- will be the
next member of Congress for the 32nd. Barack Obama carried the district last
year with 68 percent of the vote, and Republicans failed to run a candidate
against Solis in the past three elections.
Chu and Cedillo have received the lion's share of endorsements. Chu is
backed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a gubernatorial hopeful and
perhaps the state's most visible Hispanic politician. She has also been endorsed
by members of Solis' family, though the former House member has stayed neutral.
Cedillo has the support of several Hispanic congressmen, including Joe baca,
Xavier Becerra, Grace Napolitano and Linda Sanchez.
Baca is quoted as saying, "It's a Hispanic seat. We should not lose
Organized labor is working mostly on Chu's behalf.
Read the full blog entry
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
From NPR.org Ken Rudin Political Junkie Blog: