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Assemblyman John Pérez won’t run against L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar

Assemblyman John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) with Gov. Jerry Brown in April.
(Associated Press)

Assemblyman John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) has decided not to challenge Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar in the March election, his political strategist said Monday.

Campaign consultant Douglas Herman said Pérez, who spent nearly four years as Assembly speaker, made the decision despite receiving “overwhelming requests from residents, from the community” for him to seek Huizar’s seat.

“This is not a race he’s interested in pursuing,” Herman said.

Pérez lives in the downtown section of Huizar’s Boyle Heights-to-Eagle Rock district. His announcement comes nearly two weeks after termed-out Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina shook up the race by announcing that she would run for Huizar’s seat.

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Huizar has already had one meeting with Pérez to discuss the possibility of an endorsement. After a coffee with Huizar at a downtown Starbucks, Pérez said he is not prepared at this point to provide his political backing.

“He wasn’t able to convince me to endorse him. He didn’t make a persuasive case,” said Pérez, adding: “I’m happy to do another meeting, with any and all of the candidates.”

Three others have filed the initial papers needed to run for the council seat: social worker Nadine Diaz, disability rights advocate Alex San Martin and Mario Chavez, a former member of the city’s Affordable Housing Commission.

Huizar was elected to the council in 2005 and won re-election in 2007 and 2011. He has amassed more than $648,000 in campaign contributions as he seeks a third and final four-year term.

Follow @DavidZahniser for what’s happening at Los Angeles City Hall


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