Candidate seeks two positions on June primary ballot

BELLFLOWER — It’s double or nothing for Bellflower political advocate John Paul Drayer as he appears twice on the June 5 state primary ballot.

Drayer, a retired teacher from the Montebello Unified School District and a lifelong resident of Bellflower, has filed to run for both the 32nd state Senate and 58th Assembly District.

“We have no representation in either district,” said Drayer, referring to former State Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia; and Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens.

Mendoza resigned from his Senate seat in January and Garcia has been suspended from the Assembly, both for alleged sexual impropriety.

Drayer served on the Cerritos College Board of Trustees but stepped down to run unsuccessfully for the Bellflower City Council March 6.

In the 32nd state Senate District, Drayer is only running in the special election that replaces Mendoza through until December, when a new term begins.

Mendoza has refiled for office and will be on the ballot with Drayer and seven other Democrats plus two Republicans, according to information from the Registrar of Voters office here.

They are Democrats Vicky Santana, Whittier, a member of the Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees; Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado, Ali S. Taj, an Artesia city councilman; Pico Rivera Mayor Bob Archuleta, Darren Joseph Gendron, a writer from Artesia; Vivian Romero, a councilwoman from Montebello; and Rudy Bermudez, a former assemblyman, Norwalk city councilman and member of the Norwalk-La Mirada school board.

Republican senate challengers are Rita Toplian, a small business owner from Whittier; and Ion Sarega, a businessman and pastor from Santa Fe Springs.

The 11 candidates seek to fill Mendoza’s  term, which will expire in December as well as a new four-year term on another section of the balliot.

They are joined in the latter effort by Democrat David Castellanos of Whittier, a carpenter and boxing coach.

Garcia is seeking re-election to a two year term in the 58th Assembly District. In addition to Drayer, she is being challenged by Democrats Miguel A. Alvarado, a small business owner from Corona; Commerce Vice Mayor Ivan Altamirano, Karla V. Salazar, a businesswoman and educator from Downey; Bell Gardens Councilman Pedro Aceituno; and Friné Medrano, Downey, an educator and advisor who served as an aide to state Sen. Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles.

The lone Republican contender in the 58th Assembly District is Mike Simpfenderer of Bellflower, who lists himself as a father and victims’ advocate.

The district includes Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Norwalk and Pico Rivera.

In the neighboring 57th District, Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, is challenged by Democrats Justin J. Valero, a university professor from Whittier; and Blake S. Carter, a Realtor from Cerritos; and Republicans Jessica Martinez, an educator from La Habra; and Oscar J. Llamas, a journeyman lineman from Whittier. The district includes Whittier, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-South Gate, is seeking re-election in the 63rd District and is being opposed by fellow Democrat Maria D. Estrada, an advocate and accountant from Commerce; and Republican Adam S. Miller, a documentary producer from Lakewood. The district includes Bell, Cudahy, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount and South Gate.

Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park; is opposed by Republican Burford Brink, Arcadia, a retired sheriff’s deputy, in the 49th Assembly District, which includes Alhambra, Montebello and Monterey Park

In the 53rd Assembly District, Democratic incumbent Miguel Santiago is being challenged by Rae Henry, a small business owner from Compton; Kevin Hee Yung Jang, an attorney and businessman from Los Angeles; and Michael Lewis, an immigration law clerk from Los Angeles. Lewis is a Libertarian; Henry and Yung Jang are Democrats. The district includes Boyle Heights, downtown Los Angeles and Vernon.

In the 64th Assembly District, incumbent Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, is unopposed and in the 51st Assembly District, covering East Los Angeles, Wendy Carrillo, also is unopposed.

In other area state Senate races, Mike Eng, a college teacher from El Monte; Monica Garcia, a Covina city councilwoman; Susan Rubio, a Baldwin Park city councilwoman; and Ruben Sierra, a public health advocate are seeking to replace Ed Hernandez, who is termed out of office and running for lieutenant governor.

All four are Democrats. The district includes Alhambra and Monterey Park.

The 24th state Senate seat is also opened due to term limits. Kevin de Leon is challenging Dianne Feinstein for the U.S. Senate. Seeking to replace him are Peter Choi, a nonprofit president; Maria Durazo, union vice president; and Dan Gordon, a community organizer. All three are Democrats.

The district includes East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights.

In the 27th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Judy Chu is being challenged by Beatrice Cardenas, a banker and business owner from San Rafael; and Bryan Witt, railroad operations supervisor from Pasadena. Cardenas is a Republican and Witt is a Democrat. The district includes Monterey Park and Alhambra.

In the 34th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jimmy Gomez is being challenged by two minor party candidates, Angela McArdle, a Libertarian paralegal from Los Angeles; and Kenneth Mejia, an accountant representing the Green Party from Los Angeles.

The district includes Boyle Heights, El Sereno, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights.

In the 38th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Linda Sanchez is being challenged by Republican Ryan Dowling, a taxpayer advocate from Norwalk. The district includes Bellflower, Montebello, Norwalk, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier.

In the 40th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Lucille Roybal-Allard faces Green Party candidate Rodolfo Barragan from Paramount. The district includes DowneyEast Los Angeles, Commerce, Paramount, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Cudahy, Huntington Park and Maywood.

In the 44th Congressional District, which includes Lynwood and South Gate, incumbent Nanette Barragan faces Compton Mayor Aja L. Brown, and Republicans Jazmina Saavedra, a business woman from Long Beach; and Stacy Dash, an actress and news analyst. However, Brown and Dash already have announced they are withdrawing from the race, though their names will still be on the ballot.


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