LB politicians vie to fill Congressional vacancy

By Joseph Serna, Staff Writer
State Sen. Jenny Oropeza announced her candidacy for the 37th Congressional District at the Alameda corridor in Compton Wednesday, where she and Juanita Millender-McDonald jointly left their footprints.
Now she hopes to leave her own mark in Congress.
“We are all deeply saddened by the event that has brought me here today,” Oropeza said, referring to Millender-McDonald, who succumbed to cancer April 21. “As a cancer survivor, my heart goes out to her family, friends and to the community she so ably served.
“I have a unique blend of experience, dedication and effective leadership that will make me an excellent member, on your behalf, in the House of Representatives. Together, let’s move forward.”
Oropeza is currently serving her first year in the state Senate, before that she was in the state Assembly for six years.
Wednesday’s announcement came a day after assemblywoman Laura Richardson also threw her hat into the ring. Richardson, who has only been in the Assembly since November, viewed Millender-McDonald as a mentor.
“Although I am grateful serving in the Assembly, the untimely death of the congresswoman has created a void in our community that must be filled,” Richardson said in a statement. “Because of the extraordinary mentorship and inspiration I received from the congresswoman…I have decided to accept the call of service to the U.S. Congress.”
While Oropeza and Richardson are among the first to officially announce their candidacy, they are not the only names being mentioned.
Among the Long Beach politicos reportedly considering a run for Congress are 2nd District Councilmember Suja Lowenthal, 7th District Councilmember Tonia Reyes Uranga and 9th District Councilmember Val Lerch.
Rumor mills had spun that Mayor Bob Foster was considering a run, but his office had confirmed he is happy with his current position.
Other potential candidates include Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn and Compton Councilmember Isadore Hall.
A special election is set for Tuesday, June 26. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes, the top two vote-getters will run in a run-off election Tuesday, Aug. 21.