DOWNTOWN — Liberal activist and candidate for the 41st Assembly District Torie Osborn picked up a significant endorsement over the weekend, winning the support of Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica.

Osborn, a 25-year Santa Monica resident, is looking to succeed Brownley in 2012. Brownley is being forced out because of term limits.

The endorsement came during Osborn’s campaign kickoff event held in the Pacific Palisades on Sunday.

“I’m thrilled,” Osborn said of the endorsement. “It is the most important endorsement. It’s personally and politically meaningful and Julia’s faith in me is wind under my wings. I’m very proud and pleased.”

Brownley joins Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl in supporting Osborn, the former head of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. She served as a senior advisor on homelessness and poverty to Villaraigosa.

Brownley introduced Osborn to a crowd of more than 200 supporters as a “seasoned candidate” with more than 40 years of experience working for social justice.

“I know a leader when I see one, and Torie Osborn is the kind of leader that this district needs,” Brownley said. “She represents the values that we all care about, and — when Torie begins to express her passion about the possibilities for California’s future — she engages you, she inspires you, and you know that you are witnessing something very special.”

Osborn’s main opponent is Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, a fellow Democrat.

Bloom said he was disappointed to learn of Brownley’s decision but it wasn’t surprising to him given Kuehl’s support for Brownley during her first run for the Assembly.

Even so, Bloom said he is confident his record will resonate with voters. He has dedicated himself to solving the homeless problem and protecting the environment during his 12 years on the City Council.

“I think what is important to people are accomplishments,” Bloom said. “I’ve shown that I can get things done when it comes to issues that are important to the residents and voters in this area. Whether it’s the environment or issues like homelessness and education, or one of the most important things, which is balancing a budget, those are things I have not just been successful in, but have excelled at.”

The two candidates from either party to earn the most votes in the June 2012 primary will face off in the November general election.

The event Sunday raised roughly $40,000 for Osborn, who said she is on track to raise at least $250,000 by the June 30 filing deadline.

Osborn said her priorities if elected will be increasing funding for education, protecting the environment and helping more people afford quality health care. She supports raising taxes to achieve those goals.

kevinh@www.smdp.com

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