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Gloria Molina to endorse Hilda Solis in supervisor's Dist. 1 race

Gloria Molina to endorse Hilda Solis in supervisor's Dist. 1 race
Hilda Solis, right, with U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), at a rally in April for the opening of Solis' campaign headquarters in El Monte. Solis, the former U.S. secretary of Labor, hopes to succeed Gloria Molina on the L.A. Board of Supervisors. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina will announce her endorsement of former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in the race to succeed her, Solis' campaign said Wednesday.

Molina must step down from the post she has held for more than two decades, representing the eastern reaches of Los Angeles County, due to term limits. Three candidates are running to replace her in June's election.

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Solis has been the front-runner in fundraising and endorsements. She had raised $627,577 as of March -- more than 10 times the amount raised by her closest opponent -- and has the endorsement of powerful labor and business groups, as well as local elected officials.

But until now, Molina had remained silent on the race. The supervisor plans to announce her endorsement Thursday at the county Children's Welcome Center -- a center for foster children awaiting placement -- at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where Solis will pledge to be a "champion for children," her campaign said in a statement.

Solis' two opponents in the race are El Monte Councilman Juventino "J" Gomez and Pico Rivera resident April Saucedo Hood, a Long Beach school police officer.

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