Ramani confirms run for Assembly

Republican Sunder Ramani is again setting his sights on Mike Gatto and a seat in the Assembly, saying Monday that he planned to run in the November election.

Ramani — who since losing to Gatto in the special June election has remained mum on whether he would actively campaign for the regular election — said he will raise funds and spread his message of fiscal restraint and job creation. Gatto (D-Silver Lake) handily beat Ramani in June, 59% to 41%.

The special election determined who would finish the six months left in the term of Paul Krekorian, who left the Assembly after being elected in December to the Los Angeles City Council. The November election is for a full two-year term in the Assembly.

"From the night of June 8 on, I started getting calls from well-wishers and supporters pleading that I don't get out of the race," Ramani said. "We were always going forward; what we have been looking at is what our strategy will be going forward."

Gatto said he welcomed the competition.

"I have enjoyed the spirited debate that comes from a healthy Democratic process," he said, adding that he was not the first elected official to face a perennial candidate, "but I am probably the first to face the same guy three times in the same year."

Ramani said the Legislature is giving him a strong campaign issue by struggling to find solutions for an estimated $19.1-billion deficit. The deadlock has spawned rumors that lawmakers may not pass a budget until a new governor is elected in January.

"The uncertainty that is going to cause is enormous," Ramani said. "We need jobs, we need businesses to be here, and much of what I hear from the business community is they don't know from one day to the next what is going to befall them, whether it is new taxes or legislation.

"Where is the incentive to invest money and create jobs going forward?"

His campaign did little fundraising in June and July, but Ramani said his supporters are pledging to bolster contributions.

"We've been working hard to get the commitments to go forward in November," he said.

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