Northeast Edition

Four voice intent to seek open congressional seat

LOS ANGELES — City Councilman David Ryu is the latest person said to be exploring the option of running for the congressional seat expected to be vacated by Rep. Xavier Becerra’s appointment as state attorney general, a spokesman for the councilman said Dec. 7.

At the same time, City Councilman Gil Cedillo announced that he is not interested in running.

Estevan Montemayor, director of communications for Ryu, said the councilman had no public comment at this time but that he is exploring the option of running for the 34th Congressional District seat.

Ryu has represented Council District Four since June 2015 and became the first Korean-American member of the Los Angeles City Council when he took his seat. His district includes Koreatown, Hollywood, MacArthur Park, Sherman Oaks and Toluca Lake.

“I have been humbled and honored by the number of calls and messages I received asking me to run for the 34th Congressional District,” Cedillo said. After carefully considering the opportunity, I have decided that I will not run for this seat.

“At this point in our country’s history, the best place for me to be is right here in Los Angeles, continuing to fight every day to improve the lives of Angelenos, especially those who live in the First Council District. As a Los Angeles City Council member, I am uniquely positioned to fight for the rights of our immigrant communities, which have once again come under attack.”

City Councilman Jose Huizar took himself out of the running Dec. 5.

Huizar issued a statement saying, “after careful consideration and much discussion with my wife Richelle and family, we have decided not to run for the 34th Congressional seat that will soon be vacated by the appointment of Congressman Xavier Becerra to the attorney general position.”

Former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, and journalist and activist Wendy Carrillo have all declared their intent to run for Becerra’s seat.

Gomez told the Los Angeles Times that he would run for the seat.

“After talking it over with my family and supporters, I have decided to run for the 34th Congressional seat,” Gomez said, according to the Times.

“Now more than ever, we need strong values-based leadership in Washington that will protect our families, friends and neighbors from divisive rhetoric and policies. I’m ready to stand up and do just that.”

Gomez lives in Eagle Rock and was just elected to his third term in the Legislature.

Perez declared his intention to run for Becerra’s seat soon after Becerra’s appointment was announced by Gov. Brown. Perez was appointed a UC Regent by Brown in 2014.

“I’m proud to have played a role in enacting some of the most impactful legislation in the country to help poor and working class families, as well as the middle class on issues from college affordability to job training to public education, environmental justice, equality and more,” Perez said.

“I’m running for Congress to take these California values and our state’s visionary approach to the national level.”

Carrillo announced her candidacy as well. The Boyle Heights resident most recently served as host and executive producer of the public affairs program “Knowledge is Power” on KPWR radio (Power 106).

Brown appointed Becerra Dec. 1 to succeed Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate last month. If confirmed by the state Legislature, Becerra will serve the final two years of Harris’ term as California’s first Latino attorney general.

Brown will have to call for a special election to fill Becerra’s term.