Special election for state Senate seat in Los Angeles County draws crowded field

Holly Mitchell, right, and campaign manager Lenee Richards watched for election updates Nov. 3.
Holly Mitchell, right, and campaign manager Lenee Richards watched for election updates Nov. 3 during Mitchell’s successful race against Herb Wesson for a seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Voters in a state Senate district of Los Angeles County that stretches from Century City to South L.A. will head to the polls Tuesday for a special election for the successor of a seat previously held by Supervisor Holly Mitchell.

Mitchell, a Democrat, represented the 30th Senate District, which includes Mar Vista and downtown L.A., before vacating the seat after winning the 2nd District seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in the November election.

Seven candidates are on the ballot, including Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), who represents the 54th District. A former district director for Mitchell, Kamlager has received the endorsements of Mitchell, U.S. Reps. Karen Bass and Maxine Waters and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors.


Two other Democrats are on the ballot: Culver City Vice Mayor Daniel Lee, who became the first Black member of that city’s council in 2018, and Cheryl Turner, a trial lawyer and public member of the state Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Lee received endorsements from local progressive groups including Democratic Socialists of America and Ground Game LA.

Renita Duncan, a U.S. Army Reserve command sergeant major who has worked in domestic violence prevention in the military, is the only no-party, no-preference candidate.

Two Republicans are running for the seat historically held by Democrats: business consultant Tiffany Jones, who has worked in real estate and skin care, and Joe Lisuzzo, a businessman and local restaurant owner.

Ernesto Huerta is running as a candidate for the socialist Peace and Freedom Party after working as a community organizer focused on police brutality and tenants’ rights.

If no candidate receives a majority of votes, a special general election will be held May 4.

Residents can cast their votes at one of 23 centers open until 8 p.m. Tuesday. Each center will follow the state and county’s public health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.

Because of the pandemic, a ballot was mailed to every registered voter. Residents can bring those ballots with them to a vote center or cast them in a ballot drop box until 8 p.m. Tuesday.