Democrat Cecil N. Green vowed Tuesday to stick to issues and avoid personal attacks in his campaign against Assemblyman Wayne Grisham (R-Norwalk) for the vacant 33rd State Senate District seat.
At a press conference at his Norwalk campaign headquarters, Green, 63, pledged to run a "clean campaign" and asked Grisham, 64, to do the same in the final weeks before the May 12 runoff.
Green and Grisham have traded charges during the race about the accuracy of campaign material sent to voters in the district, which spreads across southeastern Los Angeles County into northwestern Orange County.
During last month's primary, Green said his record was distorted in several Grisham mailers, while Grisham was angered by charges from former state Sen. Paul Carpenter that the two-term assemblyman fired a secretary for rebuffing his advances. Grisham accused Green of privately endorsing Carpenter's actions. But Green on Tuesday again denied that and said he recently asked Carpenter--who was elected last November to the state Board of Equalization, thus creating the opening in the 33rd Senate District--not to do any "negative campaigning" this time around.
"I would hope that Paul Carpenter would recognize that I don't want that type of campaign," Green said. But he added, ". . . I can't force him to do anything . . . Mr. Carpenter is his own individual."
Reached at his Lakewood office, Carpenter said he respects Green's intentions to run a clean campaign, but he would not say whether he plans to raise any issues or mail campaign material independent of Green's efforts.
Steve Presson, Grisham's chief campaign consultant in Sacramento, said the assemblyman "welcomes the opportunity to deal strictly with issues." When told of Green's pledge to keep the race clean, Presson said, "I'm glad to see that Cecil Green is repentant."
Presson said it is "ridiculous" to believe that Green knew nothing of Carpenter's activities in the primary. "Cecil Green is a two-faced hypocrite," he said, adding that the two candidates should agree to distribute all campaign mailers to the press so the material can be verified.