Voters also will decide area city council races

Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — After months of campaigning, debates and mailboxes filled with political mailers, the final week leading up to the Nov. 3 election is here.

Los Angeles County voters, who haven’t cast their ballot yet, have until 8 p.m. Nov. 3 to vote at one of more than 1,000 voting centers in Los Angeles County, some of which have been opened since Oct. 24.

In addition to the presidential election, voters will be electing representatives to local city councils in addition to representatives in the state capital in Sacramento and in Congress in Washington, D.C.

Among the local elections, Alhambra will be electing city councilmen in two districts. Incumbent Councilman Jeff Malone is opposed by Chris Olson in District 3 and Councilman David Mejia faces challengers Sasha Perez and Karsen Luthi in District 4.

In Bell Gardens, two seats are up for re-election with Councilman Pedro Aceituno the only incumbent in the race. The second seat is open because of the previous resignation of Jennifer Rodriguez. However, Rodriguez is seeking to reclaim her seat. Others candidates are Jorge Chavez, Maria Pulido and Christian Mendez. Council members are elected citywide.

In Bellflower, Councilman Ray Hamada, appointed to represent District 1 to replace the late Ron Schnableleger, is unopposed for a four-year term. Mayor Pro Tem Dan Koops has filed for re-election in District 2 and is also unopposed.

Filing for election in District 4, which currently has no council representative, are Roger Graham, Victor Sanchez, Tonia McMillian, Stephen Amicon and Luis Melliz.

In Cudahy, filing for two citywide council seats are incumbent Jose Gonzalez and challengers Steve Sanchez, Maria Jimenez, Patricia Covarrubias and Daisy Lomeli. Councilman Chris Garcia is not seeking re-election.

In Downey, Mayor Blanca Pacheco filed for re-election in District 1 and will be challenged by Alexandria Contreras. Seeking election in District 3, in the northwest part of the city, are Dalejuan Peevy, Eric Pierce and Catherine Alvarez. Councilman Rick Rodriguez is not seeking re-election in District 3.

Filing in District 5, a citywide district, are Mario Trujillo, Carmela (Carry) Uba, Arturo Gonzalez and Juan Martinez. Current District 5 Councilman Alex Saab can’t seek re-election due to term limits.

In Lynwood, incumbents Sal Alatorre and Aide Castro are termed out of office. Alatorre is running for city treasurer against the incumbent, Gabriela Camacho. A third treasurer candidate is Armando Morales, a city spokesperson said.

City Clerk Maria Quinonez has filed for re-election and was unopposed as of Aug. 10.

City Council candidates are Edwin Jacinto, Patricia Carr, Linda George, Rita Soto, Oscar Flores, Rowland Becerra and Lorraine Moore.

Two council seats are open as Mayor Aide Castro did not seek re-election. The city votes at large.

In Maywood, incumbent council members Ramon Medina and Carlos Alvarez will be opposed by Jessica Tolles, Frank Garcia and Carmen Perez in an at-large contest.

City Clerk Geraldo Mayagoita and City Treasurer Gloria Viramontez are not seeking re-election.

Filing for the city clerk’s post are Flora Aguiluz and Ceasar Flores. Filing for city treasurer are Maria Villatore Montes, Mary Mariscal and Gabriela Bernal.

In Montebello, incumbents David Torres and Jack Hadjinian will be challenged by seven candidates, including Joseph Sanchez, Fernando Vasquez, Rosemarie “Rosie” Vasquez, Scarlet Peralta, Joellaann Valdez and Byron Jackson.

City Clerk candidates are Dillon Arreola, Johnny Gomez, Alexandra Briseno, Robert “Bob” Tapia and Christopher Jimenez.

In Pico Rivera, filing for three at-large council seats included incumbents Brent Tercero and Monica Sanchez and challengers Eric Lutz, Luis Alvarado, Andrew Lara and John Mireles. Councilman Gregory Salcido is not seeking re-election.

In Santa Fe Springs, incumbents Joe Angel Zamora and Mayor William Rounds filed for re-election. They are being challenged by Jay Sarno and Blake Carter.

In addition, voters in Bell Gardens and Bellflower will decide on proposed sales tax increases. Both cities are seeking to increase the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent. A simple majority is needed to approve the tax increase.

Lynwood also has a ballot measure calling for a 3% tax on for-profit hospitals in the city, a spokesperson said.

In congressional races, Democratic incumbent Judy Chu faces Republican Johnny Nalbandian, a food industry businessman, in the 27th Congressional District. The district includes Monterey Park and Alhambra.

In the 34th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Jimmy Gomez faces another Democrat, David Kim, a neighborhood council member from Los Angeles. The district includes Northeast Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights and downtown.

In the 38th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Linda Sanchez faces another Democrat, Michael Tolar of Whittier. The district includes Bellflower, Norwalk, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier.

In the 40th Congressional District, longtime Democratic incumbent Lucille Roybal-Allard will face Democrat David Sanchez, an educator and author from Huntington Park. The district includes East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Downey, Bellflower, Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Maywood and part of South Los Angeles.

In the 44th Congressional District, Democrat Nanette Barragan is running against another Democrat, Analilia Joya, a teacher and disability advocate from Torrance. The district includes Compton, Lynwood, Carson and San Pedro.

In state Assembly races, Democratic incumbent Ed Chau faces Republican Burton Brink, a retired sheriff’s sergeant from Arcadia, in the 49th District. The district includes Monterey Park, Alhambra and a small part of Montebello.

Democratic incumbent is unopposed in the 51st Assembly District, which covers East Los Angeles, Eagle Rock, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights.

In the 53rd Assembly District, Democratic incumbent Miguel Santiago faces Democrat Godfrey S. Plata, a public teacher advocate. The district includes Boyle Heights and Huntington Park.

The lone Republican on the ballot, Jessica Martinez, was the leading vote-getter in the 57th Assembly District in the March primary. She will face Liza Calderon the stepmother of incumbent Ian Calderon, who is not seeking re-election. The district includes Whittier, Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs.

In the 58th District, Democratic incumbent Cristina Garcia will face Green Party candidate Margaret Villa. The district includes Bell Garden, Bellflower, Commerce, Downey, Montebello, Norwalk and Pico Rivera.

In the 59th District, Democratic incumbent Reggie Jones-Sawyer faces Efren Martinez, a public policy commissioner from Huntington Park. The district includes Huntington Park and South Los Angeles.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon will face Democrat Maria Estrada, an accountant and community organizer from Lynwood, in the 63rd District, which includes Bell, Cudahy, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount and South Gate.

County Registrar of Voters Dean Logan encouraged voters to taking advantage of early voting opportunities or vote-by-mail options to avoid the long lines that developed on Election Day in March, when some polling places had to stay open more than two hours after the 8 p.m. closing time because of long lines of voters still waiting to cast their votes.

In response to those long lines, the county, for the first time ever, mailed absentee ballots to all registered voters.

Contributing writer Arnold Adler contributed to this story.