Gloria Molina

Supervisor Gloria Molina. El Monte City Councilman Juventino "J" Gomez will challenge former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to replace the termed-out Molina. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / September 3, 2013)

An El Monte city councilman and former aide to County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is wading into the race to replace termed-out Supervisor Gloria Molina, challenging former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Juventino “J” Gomez has filed the required paperwork to begin fund-raising and said Wednesday that he will run for the seat. His official announcement is expected Thursday.

Gomez, an El Monte councilman since 2003, worked for Los Angeles County for 38 years, first in the human resources department and then, for 12 years, as a deputy to Antonovich. He retired in 2010. He grew up in northeast Los Angeles and served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 before going to work for the county.

Gomez said his knowledge of county government would help him in the post, if elected.

"This is not a job where you sit there," he said. " You have to roll up your sleeves and work."

He said he would focus on jobs, public safety and finding ways to streamline "top-heavy" department bureaucracies.

Gomez is a registered Republican and may have an uphill battle in the heavily Democratic district, but said he expects his connections with local elected officials, business and veterans groups, and his decades working for the county will help him garner support.

Antonovich told The Times he would help Gomez in his campaign.

Antonovich said Gomez has community support from his years serving as the supervisor’s San Gabriel Valley deputy and “would make an excellent supervisor because of his vast experience and integrity and leadership.”

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Twitter: @sewella

abby.sewell@latimes.com