State Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D) was leading in the race to replace the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D) in the 37th district special election, though a significant percentage of voters remain undecided, according to a poll released Saturday by her campaign.
The survey of 400 likely voters, conducted June 5-7 by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, showed Richardson leading state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D) 25 percent to 16 percent, with 35 percent undecided. Millender-McDonald’s daughter, Valerie McDonald (D), was third with 7 percent.
The poll’s margin of error was 4.9 points.
The special election is set for June 26, with the top vote-getter in each political party proceeding to an August runoff if the winner does not garner more than 50 percent of the vote.
However, the overwhelming Democratic lean of the district will virtually ensure that the Democrat who advances to the runoff wins that contest.
“Clearly Laura’s message about ending the war in Iraq and bringing our priorities back home to rebuild our communities, protect our schools and neighborhoods from gangs and providing high quality healthcare to all Americans is resonating with voters,” Richardson campaign consultant John Shallman said in a statement.
Richardson was scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., this morning for, among other things, a Capitol Hill fundraiser at Bullfeathers co-hosted by Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Al Green (Texas) and Edolphus Towns (N.Y.).
Nine of the candidates in the special election have committed to participate in a debate on Thursday evening at Cabrillo High School in Long Beach. The debate is co-sponsored by the Long Beach Democratic Club, Charter Communications, the cable TV franchise in Long Beach that will air the debate, and the Long Beach Post, an online publication.
— David M. Drucker