How Fil-Am candidates fared in the California primary election

March 5 marked California’s primary election and several Filipino Americans ran for various state and local seats.

Jessica Caloza, candidate for state Assembly, District 52

Jessica Caloza, a women’s right advocate with extensive experience working for the federal, state and local government, continues to lead the race for Assembly District 52 with 30.13% of the votes (15,931), according to results from the California Secretary of State as of Friday, March 8.

She will head to the general election in November and is another step closer to making history.

If elected, Caloza, who previously served a Los Angeles Board of Public Works commissioner, would become the first Filipina American in the California state legislature.

The 52nd Assembly District includes Glendale, parts of East LA and neighborhoods of LA, such as East Hollywood, Los Feliz, Virgil Village, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Glassell Park, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, Echo Park, Eagle Rock and Highland Park.

There are about 13,000 Filipino American registered voters in this district.

“It’s a district that has never been represented by an Asian American. And in the Assembly, we have never elected a Filipino woman ever. So if I make it, I would be the first,” said Caloza in a previous interview with the Asian Journal.

Jed Leano — an immigration attorney, councilmemer and former mayor of Claremont, California — came in fourth with 15.41% of the votes (9,429) in the race for state Assembly’s 41st District, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk results as of Thursday, March 7. The 41st District covers Los Angeles County cities, such as Pasadena, Altadena, La Cañada Flintridge, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, and San Bernardino County cities of Rancho Cucamonga, San Antonio Heights and Upland.

“Last night was a beautiful celebration of the mission that united us. This morning, I called John Harabedian to congratulate him on an excellent campaign and gave him my endorsement for AD 41. My deepest gratitude for all our amazing allies in journey” Leano wrote in a Facebook post.

Republican candidate Michelle Del Rosario Martinez came out on top in that race with 34.95% of the votes, followed by Democrat John Harabedian with 31.98% of the votes.

Christopher Cabaldon, former West Sacramento mayor, is eyeing a California state Senate seat.

In the race for State Senate District 3, Democrat Christopher Cabaldon, former mayor of West Sacramento, trails in second with 26.5% of the votes (42,409), as of Friday, March 8.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, Cabaldon said, “the initial results are indeed encouraging, and while we are optimistic, we recognize that every vote counts and every voice matters. We are committed to giving our election officials the time they need to ensure every ballot is counted and eagerly await the final tally.”

State Senate District 3 includes parts of Solano, Yolo, Napa, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Sacramento counties.

Cabaldon was the first openly gay Filipino in the country to be elected mayor and was also the longest-serving LGBT mayor in the country.

Another Fil-Am, Rozzanna Verder-Aliga trails in third place in this race with 20.4% of the votes (32,697).

Verder-Aliga is a mental health care professional and the current vice mayor of Vallejo.

Kurt Jose, a lawyer, ran for a U.S. congressional seat for California’s 31st District, which covers West Covina, El Monte, La Verne and other areas of the San Gabriel Valley. He garnered only 1.3% of the votes (883) in a crowded race of 10 candidates.

Several Fil-Ams also ran for local Los Angeles races during this cycle.

Attorney Ysabel Jurado is currently in second place for the LA City Council, District 4 race, as of Friday, March 8.   File photos

As of Friday, March 8, Fil-Am housing rights lawyer Ysabel Jurado is in second place with 21.51% (5,214 votes) of the votes in the race for Los Angeles City Council District 14, which covers Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, and El Sereno. Jurado trails behind incumbent Kevin De León, who leads with 25.34% of the votes (6,143).

“I’ve always been an organizer and I never thought I would run for office, it’s true. But I feel called for this by my community. We [Filipinos] are the second-largest Asian population in Southern California and yet we haven’t had a council member ever is wild to me,” Jurado told the Asian Journal in a 2023 interview.

Ely De La Cruz Ayao, a Filipino immigrant and retired real estate broker, ran for LA City Council’s District 6, which includes the communities of Arleta, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley and Van Nuys. He came in second with 12.56% of the votes (1,820) and was defeated by incumbent councilmember Imelda Padilla, who garnered 77.46% of the votes (11,227).

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria is seeking re-election in the 2024 election cycle.

Meawhile, in San Diego, current Mayor Todd Gloria is bound for a November runoff. Gloria had 50.9% of the vote, followed by 24.3% for San Diego police officer Larry Turner, as of Wednesday, March 6.

“Thank you San Diego! The preliminary primary election results exceeded my expectations and put us on a path to victory in November. I’m excited to continue to work hard for my beloved hometown with the vision of building a city that works #ForAllofUs,” Gloria wrote in a social media post. n

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2024 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.