The two front-running Democratic candidates are: Laura Richardson, an African-American state assembly member and Jenny Oropeza, a Latina state senator. The overwhelmingly Democratic district is extremely diverse with an African-American plurality. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in the special election in June, a runoff between the top candidates in each party will be held Aug. 21.
A Win for Oropeza
Ms. Oropeza won the endorsement of the Democratic Party caucus, winning 119 of the 168 ballots cast by party delegates. (see, "Democrats Back Oropeza in the 37th District",
The Los Angeles Daily Breeze, May 20, 2007 ).
A Win for Richardson
Ms. Richardson won the coveted endorsement of the County Federation of Labor, the region's most influential labor organization (see "Oropeza loses key group's support in bid for Congress", The Los Angeles Daily Breeze, May 22, 2007, ).
Another Win for Oropeza
The California League of Conservation Voters have endorsed Oropeza (see "California League of Conservation Voters Endorses Senator Oropeza in 37th Congressional District Race", The California Majority Report, ).
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee says there is not "an ideological crack wide enough for a human hair among the congressional candidates" and that it's about the competitive personal ambitions of politicians running in districts deliberately setup by Democrats and Republicans and one-party "safe" districts:
Democrats stage two juicy duels by Dan Walters The Sacramento Bee Friday, May 25, 2007
When the Legislature and then-Gov. Gray Davis reconfigured the state's 173 legislative and congressional districts in 2001 with the intent _ and the effect _ of eliminating two-party competition for seats, they created a vacuum that begged to be filled.
If the two parties could not contest for seats, competitive instincts would be shifted into factional rivalries within the parties themselves _ a syndrome heightened by legislative term limits, which produce crops of term-limited, but ambitiously office-seeking politicians.
Continuing Controversy Over the "Black Seat"
Meanwhile, certain intellectuals among my fellow African-Americans continue putting emotional over-the-top rants about the need to retain the 37th Congressional District as a "Black seat" in Congress, insisting that the election of Ms. Oropeza would be a grave threat to some vaguely defined "Black agenda."
In point of fact either Richardson or Oropeza would go to Washington as back-benchers in a feckless Democratic Congressional Majority that has already demonstrated it is incapable of stopping or even slowing George Bush's agenda.