Opinion: Eight (perhaps) in race for Ridley-Thomas Senate seat

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State Assembly members Mike Davis and Curren Price are among the eight candidates who met yesterday’s filing deadline for the race to fill the state Senate vacancy left by Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The election is March 24. The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office is still checking the nomination papers to determine whether all eight candidates complied with filing rules. The certification process then moves to the secretary of state in Sacramento.


Both Davis and Price are Democrats and were elected to the Assembly in 2006. Davis’ 48th District includes a chunk of Koreatown, then covers a north-south swath of the city along, and to the west of, the Harbor Freeway. He’s a former aide to Rep. Maxine Waters and former county Supervisor Yvonne Burke.

Price’s 51st District includes Inglewood, where Price served on the City Council, and takes in Playa Vista in Los Angeles, all or parts of the cities of Hawthorne, Lawndale and Gardena, the community of Lennox and portions of Harbor Gateway.

The other candidates who returned nomination papers are Robert Cole, a member of the Los Angeles County Economy & Efficiency Commission; Saundra Davis, member of the Culver City school board; Mervin Leon Evans, an author, crisis consultant and perennial candidate; Jonathan Friedman, a financial analyst; Cindy Varela Henderson, a communications technician; and Nachum Shifren, an educator.

Henderson is a Peace and Freedom Party candidate. Shifren is a Republican. The rest are Democrats.

Under the rules of the ‘special primary,’ a candidate who gets more than 50% of the vote on March 24 wins the seat. If no one gets a majority, there will be a May 19 runoff -- more properly known as a special general election (no, really; I don’t make this stuff up) between the top vote-getters of each party. In other words, Henderson and Shifren against the top Democrat.

* Photo of red-carpeted state Senate chamber by Robert Durrell / Los Angeles Times