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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Campaign Trail: 1st Test for Assembly Rivals, Laura's New Manager, Key Council Face-Offs

Mayor Cathy Murillo won’t say it on the record yet, but over Cobb salad at Dargan’s this week, she left no doubt she’s running for the state Assembly.

The first test of strength for Alcadesa, along with council member Jason Dominguez, SBCC Trustee Jonathan Abboud and other Democratic contenders for the Legislature comes Saturday, as nearly 100 party activists and insiders from SB and Ventura counties gather at the Faulkner Gallery (or via email) to cast ballots in the campaign in the 37th Assembly District.

The official ballot filing deadline is not until December, but the process for winning the state Democratic Party endorsement, a big deal in what will be a low information contest, is already underway, as legislative wannabes have importuned state convention delegates for weeks.

The Dem endorsement process is only slightly more complicated than the NFL rule book (what is “a catch,” anyway?), with this weekend's vote the first step in an exercise that will culminate in Long Beach at the mid-November convention.

SB Incumbent Assembly member Monique Limon is giving up her seat after two terms, to run as an overwhelming favorite in the 19th state Senate District, where Hannah Beth Jackson is termed out.

Besides Cathy (who’s brought on the redoubtable Mollie Culver to run her campaign), Jason (who quietly announced his candidacy last week, amid his ongoing council re-election effort) and Jonathan (who told Newsmakers he’s running on a platform of “transformative change”), other likely entrants include Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (whose aide told us Steve is off on a biking trip this week) and Elsa Granados, executive director of Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (who’s also out of the office all week). Hmmm.

Winning the party's endorsement in a legislative contest is neither easy nor easy to understand: Warning: Do not read the following and operate heavy machinery:

  • If anyone captures 70 percent of the 97 delegates in this weekend’s balloting, the state endorsement is theirs and will be approved on the convention's consent calendar; in technical terms, this is referred to as “not bloody likely”.

  • If anyone wins between 50 and 69 percent of the 97 delegates, the endorsement contest will move to a second round, to be decided at the convention.

  • If no one gets at least 50 percent, there will be no party endorsement.

Got it? For further questions, go ask somebody else.

In the March 3, 2020 primary, the top two finishers in the race, of whatever party, will advance to a November runoff.

The Secretary of State's most recent report shows that of the 274,722 registered voters in the district, 44.5 percent are Democrats, 26.7 percent are No Party Preference independents, 23.1 percent are Republicans and the rest are from third parties. There are are 136,892 registered district voters from SB County and 137,830 from Ventura County.

You could look it up.

First District update. Zach Czajkowski has quietly departed as the campaign manager in Laura Capps’s bid to unseat Supervisor Das Williams.

Zach said he's moved back to the East Coast for family reasons, and we expect him to surface soon in his home state of North Carolina, a wide-open 2020 battleground at every level of partisan politics.

Laura has brought on L.A. consultant Lindsay Bubar as a replacement; Bubar and Zach worked together last year on the successful insurgent campaign of Rep. Katie Hill, who ousted longtime Republican incumbent Steve Knight in Northern L.A. County.

Lindsay's also worked on campaigns for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel and Emerge California, a statewide political incubator for Democratic women who want to run for office.

“She’s good,” said a veteran Democratic strategist who’s gone up against Bubar. “It should be a good fit."

City Council sweepstakes. Ballots for the two contested SB city council races, on the Eastside's District 1 and the Mesa's District 2, are to be mailed out beginning next Monday.

This brings increased importance and focus to the League of Women Voters's upcoming city council campaign forums, likely to be the final major up-close-and-personal events of the two races.

  • This Thursday (Oct. 3), the League will host the District 1 candidates at the Eastside Library, 1102 E. Montecito Street, from 6-8 p.m.

  • Next Thursday (Oct. 10) they will sponsor a forum for the District 2 candidates at the Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive, 6-8 p.m.

Also check out the candidates on the Newsmakers TV forums, on our You Tube channel: District 1 is here and District 2 is here.

Plenty of free parking.


Images: Cathy Murillo; Jason Dominguez; Jonathan Abboud; Lindsay Bubar; LWV.

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