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Democrats Going Public With Plans for Open Seat

State Sen. Jenny Oropeza is one of several Democrats considering a bid for the 37th district seat left open by the death of Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D).

In an interview late last week, Oropeza declined to elaborate on her plans in advance of Millender-McDonald’s funeral, scheduled for Monday. But the state Senator, said to be a possible frontrunner for the overwhelmingly Democratic seat, said she would make an announcement on Wednesday.

“I am considering running for Congress,” Oropeza said during a brief telephone interview.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has set the date for the special election to replace Millender-McDonald for June 26. If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote in that contest, a runoff will be held on Aug. 21 featuring the top vote-getter of each political party entered in the primary.

Oropeza is scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., today on a previously scheduled trip with the California Senate’s Democratic delegation. No meeting with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was scheduled, she said.

The race to replace Millender-McDonald is expected to be crowded, and the Democrats are heavily favored to retain the seat. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported Monday that state Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D) also was preparing to announce her candidacy.

— David M. Drucker

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