Los Angeles, CA – While the historic 2008 presidential elections are now fading to a much treasured memory, many local candidates are heading into the home stretch in a number of races.
Primaries are set for March 3 in the cities of Los Angeles, Carson, Gardena as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Community College District.
On March 24, residents of the 26th Senate District will have the opportunity to vote in a special election to select someone to fill the unexpired term of Mark Ridley-Thomas, who resigned in December after being elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
In the City of Los Angeles, there are 11 positions up for grabs. Incumbents are running in eight races including the mayor, and City Council Districts 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15.
Rocky Delgadillo and Laura Chick, who held the city attorney and controller posts respectively, are out because of term limits, and City Councilmembers Jack Weiss and Wendy Greuel have decided to throw their hats into the ring. This leaves Weiss’ seat vacant; Greuel is not up for re-election.
On the education front, three spots on the Los Angeles Board of Education are open, and several incumbents have declined to run, which means that depending on who fills the seats vacated by these long-time board members–Marlene Canter and Julie Korenstein–there could be a potential shift in voting.
Monica Garcia, current board president, is also up for re-election, and is running unopposed.
Four seats on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees are available, and the incumbents in all four offices are seeking re-election including local lawyer Angela Reddock.
Getting people to the polls on a non-presidential election is traditionally difficult, and this year will be no exception speculates Ange-Marie Hancock, an associate professor of political science at USC.
And now after Obama, Hancock thinks voters, particularly African Americans may be on political overload. “Everyone did everything they could up until November 4. We were constantly watching the media, constantly working and constantly talking about it. We did peak in November, and the challenge is going to be to keep that going.”
Hancock said the “faithful few” will still trek to the polls, but if African American do not turn out, it may send the message to non-Black officials that they are disengaged and therefore ignorable.