Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has come to the aid of Councilman Richard Alarcon, endorsing him in his race to return to the state Assembly. The Democrat from the 7th Council District in Los Angeles served as the assemblyman in the the San Fernando Valley's 39th Assembly District six years ago.
Alarcon faces another Democrat, Raul Bocanegra, in the 39th District race. Bocanegra is the chief of staff to incumbent Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, who is running for Alarcon’s City Council seat in the 2013 primary.
In the June primary, Bocanegra topped all candidates with 36.2 percent of the vote. Alarcon was second with 26.9 percent. California's "top two" primary system sends the primary's two leading votegetters regardless of party to a November runoff.
“Richard is not afraid to take on powerful, big-money interests, which is why virtually every special interest is doing everything in their power to stop him from going to Sacramento,” Villaraigosa said in a statement announcing his endorsement.
“I strongly support Richard Alarcon’s campaign for Assembly because we need more elected officials who are willing to stand up for what is right for their community, even in the face of powerful interests.”
The Villaraigosa endorsement comes as Alarcon deals with charges that he didn't live in the Los Angeles city council district he's representing. He's due back in court next Thursday, where he is facing 17 felonies, including voter fraud and perjury. Earlier this month, a judge found there is enough evidence for Alarcon and his wife to stand trial.
The election for the 39th District is on Nov. 6.