Democrat Running in Competitive California District

Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:55pm

One month after losing their top candidate, Democrats have at least one replacement to run for one of California’s most competitive districts.

John Hernandez, CEO of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, announced his candidacy Monday for the new 21st district in the Central Valley.

Democrats were left without a candidate when state Sen. Michael Rubio announced Dec. 27 that he would not run because of family considerations. That left Assemblyman David Valadao (R) as the lone candidate in a district that President Barack Obama would have carried in 2008 by 5 points and that has a 10-point Democratic voter registration advantage.

Hernandez, who had served as the chamber’s executive director since 2006 before taking over as CEO, advises on small-business training, economic development and government relations in a six-county area that includes this district.

One other potential candidate, former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D), is reportedly still considering the race.