LOS ANGELES, Calif.–The Los Angeles County Democratic Party endorsed Assemblyman Warren Furutani for the 15th District City Council seat vacated by Janice Hahn.

Furutani “has led the fight for quality schools, better job training programs and healthier neighborhoods,” county party chair Eric Bauman said in a statement released by Furutani’s campaign.

Furutani was elected in 2008 to the Assembly to represent a district that includes Lakewood, Carson and Wilmington. His early career was in activism and education. Furutani was the first Asian Pacific Islander American to be elected to the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1987. He went on to serve on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees in 1999.

Furutani said he was honored to have the party’s support. “With the backing of grassroots activists, I am confident our campaign will be able to take on the powerful downtown interests and lobbyists and prevail,” he said.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also endorsed Furutani.

The deadline for submitting enough petitions to get on the ballot was Monday. Seven other candidates qualified for the Nov. 8 ballot:
Pat McOsker, a Los Angeles firefighter
Joe Buscaino, an LAPD officer
Rebecca Chambliss a Realtor
Rudy Svorinich, a registered lobbyist and former city councilman
Jayme Wilson, a San Pedro restaurant owner
Gordon Teuber, a deputy in the 15th District council office
Robert Farrell, a former city councilman

Buscaino recently won the support of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing more than 9,000 police officers in the city.

McOsker won the support of the firefighters’ union, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City. McOsker was president of the union before stepping down Aug. 24.

Councilmen Richard Alarcon, Mitchell Englander, and Jose Huizar also endorsed McOsker.

Hahn, who served two terms in the heavily Democratic district, won a special congressional election in July to replace Jane Harman, who stepped down earlier this year to run the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a foreign policy think tank in Washington.

By Richie Duchon | City News Service