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LOCAL ELECTIONS

32nd Congressional District election is Tuesday

Candidates are Democrat Judy Chu, Republican Betty Tom Chu and Libertarian Christopher M. Agrella.

July 13, 2009|Jean Merl

Voters in the San Gabriel Valley-based 32nd Congressional District will choose a new representative in a special runoff election Tuesday.

Board of Equalization member Judy Chu, 56, a Chinese American, is the heavy favorite in the strongly Democratic, largely Latino district. She parlayed strong roots in local communities, support from labor and a broad multiethnic coalition into a hard-fought primary victory in May.

Although she finished first among 12 candidates, she fell short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

Betty Tom Chu, 72, Judy Chu's cousin by marriage, is the Republican candidate. Despite the tough registration odds -- only about 22% of district voters belong to her party -- the GOP provided precinct walkers and other help for her campaign.

Libertarian Christopher M. Agrella, 55, also is on the ballot. He campaigned on a shoestring budget over the Internet and at community events.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Results will be available Tuesday night at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's website, www.lavote.net.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

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