California: Cedillo Enters Expected Solis Special Election

Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:18pm

Although he has been preparing his bid for several weeks, state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D) on Monday formally entered the yet-to-be scheduled special election to replace Secretary of Labor nominee Hilda Solis in the San Gabriel Valley-based 32nd district.

Cedillo is currently one of two frontrunners in the Congressional race, along with Judy Chu (D), the chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization.

“I have always believed that elected officials have a responsibility to represent the common interests of the communities they serve and I will be proud to provide that type of leadership to the people of the San Gabriel Valley,” Cedillo said in a statement.

He rolled out a long list of top-flight consultants who are working for his campaign as well as a list of prominent local leaders who are supporting him.

In the view of most political observers, Cedillo is a slight favorite over Chu in a district where more than 60 percent of the population is Latino. However, if another well-known Latino candidate enters the race, Chu’s chances probably improve.

Former state Assemblyman Ed Chavez (D), who is currently on the board of directors for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, has formed an exploratory committee for a possible Congressional bid, and Emanuel Pleitez (D), a 27-year-old financial adviser, is also running.

Because Solis hasn’t been confirmed yet, no special election to replace her has been set, though it is likely to take place in early spring. Under California law, all candidates in the special, regardless of party, will appear together on a special primary ballot. If no one gets 50 percent of the vote, the top finishers from each party advance to a runoff.

The Democrats are overwhelmingly favored to retain the seat.