Gov. Jerry Brown waded into the Long Beach mayor’s race Monday, announcing his endorsement of Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal.
With little over a month left in the mayoral primary campaign, Brown’s announcement is the latest in a string of high-profile endorsements in the crowded contest. Bob Foster, the city’s current mayor, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom threw their support behind City Councilman Robert Garcia last week.
Former Gov. George Deukmejian, considered a godfather of sorts in Long Beach politics, has endorsed Long Beach City College Trustee Doug Otto.
"Bonnie Lowenthal has the experience, the vision, and the independence to be a great mayor," the governor said in a statement released by Lowenthal’s campaign.
Brown’s endorsement also comes at a time when the Democrats’ supermajority in the state Assembly could prove even more critical after Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello announced that he was taking a leave of absence amid federal corruption charges.
The supermajority is critical to the success of efforts like placing a rainy-day fund initiative before voters, which Brown has said he supports.
In a statement, the Long Beach Democrat said she was “honored” to have Brown’s support.
One of the last to throw her hat in the ring, Lowenthal is considered a favorite in a field of 10 candidates, which also includes Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske; Damon Dunn, a former NFL player and real estate investor; Jana Shields, a local nonprofit executive; Erick Rock; Richard Camp; Mineo L. Gonzalez; and onetime Los Angeles mayoral candidate Steven Mozena.
In the latest fundraising numbers filed Friday, Lowenthal had raised $233,940, and Garcia had raised $255,007.
Otto has amassed the largest amount, at $400,782, including $100,000 of his own money, while Dunn had raised $356,658, with $120,000 coming from his own pocket.
The election will be held April 8, and if no candidate gets a majority, voters will decide between the top two vote-getters in June.