LOCALPolitiCal

Downey mayor elected to head independent cities group

ElectionsPoliticsRon CalderonDon Knabe

Downey Mayor Mario A. Guerra has been elected president of the Independent Cities Assn., the Guerra campaign announced Tuesday.

Guerra is running for state Senate from the 32nd District in next year's elections. He already has racked up a number of endorsements from elected officials, including one from Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes several cities in the southeast part of the county.

According to the cities organization's website, Guerra, who has been a member of its board, will take over the post in September from outgoing president Juventino Gomez, an El Monte city councilman.

Guerra, an insurance broker, emigrated from Cuba with his family when he was six years old and grew up in southeast Los Angeles County. He was elected to the Downey City Council in 2006 and is serving his second one-year term as mayor.

Several others also are planning to run for the senate seat, including three former state legislators. Among them is former Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon, whose younger brother, Ron Calderon, currently holds the state Senate seat but is leaving due to term limits.

The association is made up of about 50 Southern California cities that run their own police and fire departments, hence the "independent" designation.  Combined, they represent more than 7 million people.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl

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