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CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS: 51st Assembly District

Gardena councilman considered front-runner to replace Curren Price

Democrat Steve Bradford and six other candidates have filed to run in the Sept. 1 special election for the state Assembly seat representing Westchester, Gardena, Inglewood and Hawthorne.

July 21, 2009|Jean Merl

Seven candidates have filed to run in the Sept. 1 special election to fill the 51st Assembly District seat left vacant when Curren Price won a state Senate post earlier this year.

Gardena City Councilman Steve Bradford, who lost the 2006 Democratic primary to Price by just 113 votes, got off to a fast start, lining up support from a host of local elected officials and raising money even before the nomination period closed at 5 p.m. Monday.

Many observers see Bradford as the early front-runner.

Also filing were Democrats Gloria D. Gray, a former Inglewood school board member; Lawndale City Councilman Robert Pullen-Miles, who is an aide to state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach); Thomas Jefferson Cares of Lawndale; Student Shirl Deadra Green of Los Angeles; and perennial candidate Mervin Leon Evans, a Los Angeles author, businessman and consultant.

Los Angeles businessman David Coffin is the only Republican to file for the race in the heavily Democratic district.

The district includes the Los Angeles community of Westchester, the unincorporated L.A. County neighborhoods of Lennox, Del Aire, Willowbrook, West Compton and Alondra Park, and the cities of Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood and Lawndale.

About 64% of registered voters are Democrats, 15% are Republicans and 17% are unaffiliated with a political party.

If no candidate wins a majority on Sept. 1, there will be a runoff Nov. 3.

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jean.merl@latimes.com

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