LA County supervisorial candidate Ridley-Thomas touts Latino support

State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas today highlighted Latino support for his campaign for Los Angeles County supervisor. Ridley-Thomas faces L-A City Councilman Bernard Parks in what some political observers consider the most important local contest in the region. KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports.

Mark Ridley-Thomas: Si se puede?
Crowd: Si se puede.
Ridley-Thomas: We're ready...

Frank Stoltze: Ridley-Thomas rallied Latino elected officials from across south L.A. County and urged Spanish speakers to visit his Web site.

Ridley-Thomas: Go there and you'll see a page in Español, solamenté. You can read a little bit about my biography, about mi esposa.

Stoltze: Latinos comprise a quarter of the electorate in the district that stretches from Culver City to Compton. Lynwood School Board Member Jose Solaché says some of them remain cautious about African-American candidates.

Jose Luis Solaché: Even with Obama there's a question of who do we trust?

Stoltze: Ridley-Thomas and Parks are black. Solaché, who supports Ridley-Thomas, says Parks may enjoy an edge with Latinos thanks to his status as a former chief of the LAPD.

Solaché: He does have more name ID. He does. (laughs) I cannot deny that. That's true.

Stoltze: Ridley-Thomas counters that with support from heavily Latino labor unions. The winner in this contest would replace retiring supervisor Yvonne Burke. Whoever prevails faces difficult decisions regarding the future of the King Harbor Urgent Care Center and the devaluation of the county's massive pension portfolio in the stock market collapse.