Assemblyman Richard Alatorre, saying he wants to be part of the government closest to the people, on Thursday formally began his campaign for the Eastside Los Angeles City Council seat to be vacated today by Councilman Arthur K. Snyder.
Snyder, who is resigning to practice law, has endorsed Alatorre for the council seat.
While the race is nonpartisan, the 14th Council District, which extends from predominantly Latino East Los Angeles to the more Anglo communities of Eagle Rock and Highland Park, is heavily Democratic and Alatorre's stature in his party, the result of 13 years in the Legislature, is certain to help him.
At a press conference at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights, the assemblyman said he was leaving state government to run for city office "to serve the people more directly and more immediately."
If elected, Alatorre said, his priorities would be controlling crime and violence, creating new jobs and building new housing.
While his three rivals all agree with those goals, they have begun to focus criticism on Alatorre, who is seen as the front-runner because he is an elected official and already has begun raising large sums of money.