Portantino on the campaign trail
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) is on the campaign trail for what will be his final term. He will be termed out of office in 2012.
Three other candidates have begun the nomination process, two Republicans and a Libertarian. Running for the GOP are Brian Fuller, whom Portantino defeated two years ago, and Arcadia resident Alvaro Day. The third candidate is Libertarian Eytan Kollin of Pasadena.
Congressman David Dreier, who at 57 has served 29 years in Congress, is a candidate for re-election. In the past, his 26th District seat has been targeted by Democrats and Dreier personally has come under attack from more conservative Republicans, but this year's race looks to be calmer than in the past. He is so far being challenged by Libertarian Randall Weissbuch of Arcadia, and American Independent David Miller of Glendora.
Portantino's 44th District is solidly Democratic, though his home community of La Cañada Flintridge retains a Republican majority. Portantino had $652,253 in his campaign account at year's end, having raised $453,492 last year.
If Portantino is re-elected, the district will have been represented by two local leaders since the last redistricting; state Sen. Carol Liu for six years and Portantino for another six. New district lines should be in place at the next election, as redistricting will follow the census.
This year's election could draw some attention from state leaders because the two Assembly seats bordering the 44th, the 43rd and 59th, are essentially without incumbents. State Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams has decided not to run again in the 59th, and Democrat Paul Krekorian has vacated the 43rd District to take a seat on the L.A. City Council.
Issues facing voters will include the continuing state budget mess, the state economic doldrums and the upcoming battle for governor.
— Charles Cooper