Cue the musical chairs! Last week California Governor Jerry Brown announced his intention to appoint U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra to replace U.S. Senator-elect Kamala Harris as California Attorney General. Becerra, 58, is currently my congressman, representing California's 34th congressional district; he would become the first Latino attorney general in the history of the state (in 2016!)
Becerra had been a rumored candidate in the race to replace Barbara Boxer that Kamala Harris ultimately won over another Latino candidate, Loretta Sanchez. Within hours of the announcement that a rare safely Democratic Los Angeles-area Congressional seat was open, former Speaker of the House John Perez announced his candidacy for the race. Soon after that, my state Assemblyman, Jimmie Gomez, also announced his intention to run for the seat. Activist Wendy Carillo has also declared she is interested. Surprisingly, my City Council person Jose Huizar has so far declined to enter the race to replace Becerra, as has fellow Councilperson Gil Cedillo. For the special election, you just need to be a resident of California (and a U.S. Citizen and over age 25).
Today comes the surprising news that Perez is withdrawing from the race, citing an unnamed health condition which is serious enough that it will prevent him from running a rigorous race in the 2017 special election, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Citing a recent diagnosis of a serious health problem, former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said Saturday he is dropping out of the race to replace U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles).Almost certainly there will be other prominent (and not so prominent) Los Angeles area politicos joining the race. MadProfessah will keep you posted, since it is literally happening in my back yard!
"I've got to focus on my health right now," Pérez said in an interview. "But it was a very hard decision."
The 47-year-old Democrat declined to offer specifics about his condition, citing a desire to keep it private. But he said it was serious enough that it would keep him from waging a vigorous political campaign in 2017.
"The treatment is one that doesn’t lend itself to the intensity of a campaign that the community deserves," he said.