Two may vie for Gatto post

Two of Glendale's elected city officials may go head to head in a race for the state Assembly’s 43rd District in 2016, both of them having created finance committees to possibly run for the post currently held by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake).

City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian and Councilwoman Laura Friedman are looking into potentially shifting their political careers to the state capitol in Sacramento in a few years.

Both recently formed committees to catalog campaign fundraising, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

The 43rd District includes Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta and La Cañada Flintridge and has been represented by Gatto since June 2010. Gatto has an election for a third term in November and would term out in 2016 if he wins.

Kassakhian is currently serving his third term as city clerk, having been first elected in 2005, and whose responsibilities entail supervising municipal elections.

“I care deeply about this district,” he said. “It’s where I’ve grown up, it’s where I’ve gone to school, it’s where I’ve lived and worked and it’s where I plan on raising my family.”

Kassakhian, however, said it was too early in the campaign to get into specific issues regarding the 43rd District.

“The needs of the district are as diverse as the community of the district itself,” he said. “ I know I can bring a great vision for this region and I’ll help bring that vision to Sacramento.”

Although he has not served on a governing body, Kassakhian said people in the Assembly have come from a variety of professional and political backgrounds. He added his role as clerk has given him plenty of experience in ethics and fairness.

So far, he’s raised a little over $100,000 for his campaign, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

Friedman also formed a committee, but was unavailable to comment about her potential state Assembly bid.

Friedman was first elected to the City Council in 2009 and reelected last year. She has also served as mayor during her time on council.

Fundraising information regarding her campaign has yet to be posted online.

A primary election for the 43rd District seat will be held in June 2016, followed by a general election in the fall.

Kassakhian said he would not comment on the possible dynamics of running against a fellow elected official from Glendale.

“I’m running to share my vision with the voters of this district,” he said.

Gatto also said he would not comment on the local candidates’ intent to run for his seat in two years.

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