Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis officially kicked off her campaign for Los Angeles County supervisor Saturday, surrounded by heavyweights in labor and Democratic Party circles.
Solis has been fundraising for nearly a year in the race to replace termed-out Supervisor Gloria Molina, but Saturday's event at her campaign headquarters in El Monte marked the beginning of the major push to win the June 3 election.
She was joined by supporters including United Farm Workers Union co-founder Dolores Huerta, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor leader Maria Elena Durazo and Congresswoman Judy Chu, who praised her track record on labor and environmental justice issues.
"I think it's a blessing for everyone in Los Angeles," Huerta said of Solis' run. "It's Obama's loss -- it's Los Angeles' gain."
Durazo, whose federation took the unusual step of endorsing Solis last year long before the deadline for other candidates to join the race, described her as a "warrior for working people," pointing to her efforts to raise the California minimum wage and to prevent human trafficking while in the state legislature.
Solis has raised more than $600,000 and is widely expected by political observers to easily defeat her two opponents, El Monte Councilman Juventino "J" Gomez and police officer April Saucedo Hood, a Pico Rivera resident.
But Solis urged her supporters not to take her victory for granted.
"Please take to heart that I have an opponent, and you know who that opponent is?" she said. "It starts with an 'a' -- apathy."