Liu praised Portantino's commitment to improving education in California, and cited his energy and experience as separating him from other candidates
"For a decade this district has provided legislative leadership on many issues, but especially on education. It is important to me that our next Assembly Member continues and expands that tradition," Liu said in a prepared statement issued by her office. "Anthony Portantino shares my commitment to excellence in public education at every level. I trust him to be a strong voice for our schools and colleges.
"Anthony's experience and energy also set him apart. I've watched him take on local issues for many years and I've never seen anyone work harder or more effectively to get things done. Our district needs that kind of leadership in Sacramento. I believe Anthony Portantino will be an outstanding legislator, and I'm proud to support him," she said.
Portantino said Liu, a former mayor of this city, inspired him to consider running for the Assembly.
"I am honored to have her support and I hope voters will give me the opportunity to continue her important work on education and other issues," Portantino stated. "Not only does Carol's support mean a great deal to me personally, it is a tremendous boost for my campaign. Carol is admired and respected throughout the district, and I'm confident that her endorsement will carry great weight as people consider who should succeed her."
Liu, who will leave the Assembly in 2006 because of term limits, easily won a three-candidate primary race in 2000 to replace Jack Scott, who was moving on to the State Senate. Since then, Liu has won three general elections by wide margins - most recently receiving 65.7% of the vote in November 2004.
Portantino is a public school parent, PTA member and former substitute teacher. He also serves on the LCF City Council/School District Joint Use Committee and is a former member of the Child Care Round Table and the PCC Bond Advisory Committee.