Special Election in 49th Assembly District Next Week - The Rafu Shimpo
A special election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the 49th Assembly District to fill the seat vacated by Assemblymember Ed Chau, who left to become a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.
The district encompasses the western San Gabriel Valley and includes all or part of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Montebello, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, South El Monte and Temple City.
Chau, a Democrat, represented the district — which has one of the country’s largest concentrations of Asian American voters, 56.5 percent — from December 2012 to December 2021. His predecessors include Democrats Mike Eng and Judy Chu (now a member of Congress). Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, 45 percent to 19 percent.
Vote centers will remain open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for in-person voting or to drop off completed vote-by-mail ballots. All centers will follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
The Democratic candidate is Mike Fong, a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees and director of policy and government relations for the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. He previously served as East Area director for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
In 2017, Fong was among 13 candidates, including 10 Democrats, for the 51st Assembly District seat that was vacated when Jimmy Gomez (D) was elected to Congress. Fong finished fifth; the winner was Wendy Carrillo (D).
“Mike has devoted his career to public service, and has fought for progressive policies that deliver real results for the people he serves,” Fong’s campaign said in a statement. “As an elected trustee on the board of America’s largest community college district, Mike works to increase student access to higher education, expand workforce training, and improve the quality of educational opportunities available at nine community colleges across Los Angeles and surrounding cities.”
The Republican candidate is Burton Brink, a retired sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He has run for the Assembly seat twice before, in 2018 and 2020, losing both times to Chau.
The winner will serve the rest of Chau’s term, which ends in December. In order to remain in office, Fong or Brink would have to run again in the November general election.
“California is the greatest state in the country, but far too many of our neighbors are still struggling,” Fong said. “If I am elected to the State Assembly, I promise to work...
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