Looking ahead to the June 7th primary, the Santa Monica Democratic Club rolled out its schedule for the next four months, when the Club Membership will be considering Democratic candidates in contested primaries at both the state and regional levels. 

Kicking off the series of events will be a one-hour Q&A event with state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara on Sunday, February 20. Lara, 

California’s first openly gay statewide elected official, is running for his second term in the position. The event with Lara, like all of the meetings planned through the primary endorsement process, will be held electronically via Zoom. 

The following Wednesday, February 23, the Club will host its first debate of the season when candidates running for Los Angeles County Sheriff join the Club. Incumbent Alex Villanueva faces competition from four Democrats, all of whom will be vying for the support of the Democratic Club members. Also joining on February 23 will be LA Controller Ron Galperin, candidate for state Controller, as well as Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who is running for her first full term this year. 

On March 30, the Club will host a debate for the hotly contested County Supervisor District 3 race. Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Senator Bob Hertzberg, West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, and Senator Henry Stern will face off for the seat currently held by retiring Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Also speaking at this meeting will be Monterey Park Mayor Yvonne Yiu, our second candidate for state Controller, as well as Asm. Marc Levine, who is challenging Lara for Insurance Commissioner. 

The Club’s final debate of the primary season will be held on April 13, when activists Louie Abramson and Rick Zbur face off head to head in the race to succeed Richard Bloom in the State Assembly, District 51. Our third candidate for state Controller, Board of Equalization Member Malia Cohen, will also join this evening.

Finally, the Club will meet on April 27 to hear from candidates running for LA Superior Judge, and then they will vote on all Club endorsements in advance of the June primary. This will include all of the aforementioned races – Controller, Insurance Commissioner, State Assembly, County Supervisor, County Sheriff – as well as Governor, US Senator, and all other races on the June 7th primary ballot. Any candidate who receives 55% of the Membership vote will receive the endorsement of the Club. 

“We have several races here that are likely going to be resolved in the primary,” said Club President Jon Katz, who was re-elected last month to the sixth year leading the club, “and in more than one case, Santa Monica is going to be the swing region that determines who wins and gets elected to serve our community. It’s crucial that we really vet these candidates, and this robust endorsement process we’ve put together for this spring really allows us to meet each candidate for more than just a few minutes and make educated decisions about our vote.” 

For more information about the Club and to RSVP for the above meetings, visit www.santamonicademocrats.com.

Submitted by: Kymberli Miles Lawson, VP of Communications Santa Monica Democratic Club