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Assemblywoman Lowenthal joins crowded field for Long Beach mayor

September 05, 2013|By Christine Mai-Duc
  • Bonnie Lowenthal, shown here in 2008, is joining a crowded field in the race for Long Beach mayor.
Bonnie Lowenthal, shown here in 2008, is joining a crowded field in the race… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

An already-crowded field in the Long Beach mayoral race saw the addition of a longtime political heavyweight Thursday as Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) announced her run for the office.

“We need to make this city go forward now,” Lowenthal said at a newss conference formally announcing her campaign Thursday.

Lowenthal was joined by state Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Long Beach Unified board member Mary Stanton, who have endorsed her for the post. Mayor Bob Foster recently announced he would not seek a third term.

“I love Long Beach, it’s a very unique place. It’s my home ... and I am proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish for our city,” she told The Times in an interview.

Lowenthal served two terms each on the board of the Long Beach Unified School District and the City Council before being elected to the state Assembly, where she will be unseated by term limits next year.

Her name recognition, along with her experience in local and state politics, could make her a formidable opponent, even in a crowded field that includes three sitting council members, a community college trustee and a former NFL player.

“She’s proved that she can raise money, win votes in a large, broad district, and she has a name that appeals to Long Beach voters,” says Jeffrey Adler, a political consultant based in nearby Signal Hill, who has been involved with Long Beach political campaigns for nearly three decades.

Adler says the Lowenthal name comes with a certain “sense of invincibility” in local politics. Lowenthal’s ex-husband, Alan Lowenthal, served on the Long Beach City Council before moving on to the state Assembly, state Senate, and, now, Congress.

Lowenthal’s son, Daniel, is an L.A. Superior Court judge.

Her former daughter-in-law, Long Beach City Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, has also served on the Long Beach Unified school board and is one of eight other candidates whom Bonnie Lowenthal will be battling in the mayoral race.

Also running are auto detailer Richard Camp, real estate investor and former NFL player Damon Dunn, Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, basketball coach Kareem Muhammad, attorney and Long Beach City College Trustee Doug Otto, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, and local nonprofit executive Jana Shields.

The top two vote-getters in the primary, which is scheduled for April 8, will meet in a June runoff.

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christine.maiduc@latimes.com

Twitter: @cmaiduc

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