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California: Battle of the Chus to Be Decided by Voters Today

The race has all but fallen off the political radar screen, but voters in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles will go to the polls today to finally elect a replacement for former Rep. Hilda Solis (D), who is serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of Labor.

Judy Chu (D), the vice chairwoman of the state Board of Equalization, is the overwhelming favorite over Republican Betty Chu (no relation) — a Monterey Park city councilwoman — and Christopher Agrella, the Libertarian nominee.

The Democrat finished first in a crowded open primary in May, which was tantamount to election in a heavily Democratic and majority-Hispanic district.

Judy Chu is a veteran officeholder who has also served in the state Assembly and as mayor of Monterey Park. The 32nd district seat has been vacant since Solis, who was first elected in 2000, was sworn in as Labor secretary in late February.

Sanchez Foe Raises $250,000 in 6 Weeks

State Assemblyman Van Tran, the highly touted Republican challenger to Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D), announced Monday that he raised and banked about $250,000 in his first six weeks of fundraising.

“Voters are unhappy about the direction of our country,— Jeff Roe, Tran’s campaign consultant, said in a statement. “These numbers reflect the fact that the voters in Orange County are ready for a strong leader with a real vision, not the same wasteful spending of the current incumbent.—

Despite Republican enthusiasm for Tran, Sanchez remains a formidable incumbent. Although she had not released her second-quarter fundraising figures by press time Monday, Sanchez had $518,000 in her campaign account as of March 31.

While the 47th district has been close in recent gubernatorial elections and in the 2004 White House race, it gave President Barack Obama a 22-point victory in 2008.

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