13 candidates face off in LA County assessor race

Los Angeles County Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky and Sheriff Lee Baca can relax during today's election, since they aren't facing any challengers in their re-election bids, but 13 people are vying for the job of county assessor.

Rick Auerbach, who was county assessor since 2000, retired in March, and the Board of Supervisors appointed Robert Quon to replace him. But Quon opted not to seek a full four-year term.

Among those competing for the job are seven people with ties to the office – John Lewis Dortch, an assessor's division chief; and deputy assessors Adrian A. Gomez, Dan Kumaus, John "Lower Taxes" Loew, John Noguez and Yolanda T. Salazar; and Siavash "Sia" Gharib, a principal appraiser.

Also vying for the post are former Assemblyman Ed Chavez, D-La Puente, now a member of the San Gabriel Valley Water District Board of Directors; Jose Cornejo, chief deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas; businessman Charles J. Hahn; property manager Mary Hollis Heath; property appraiser Krish Kumar; and John Wong, chairman of the county Assessment Appeals Board.

Auerbach has endorsed Noguez, who was his special assistant.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.