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Santa Monica Democrats Back Allen and Bloom

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By Daniel Larios
Staff Writer

May 16, 2014 -- The Santa Monica Democratic Club endorsed School board member Ben Allen and former Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom for State Senate and Assembly respectively Wednesday night, three weeks before the June 3 California primary election.

The group’s endorsements will benefit candidates through its direct mail effort, telephone phone banking and door-knocking. They will also be able to use the club name in campaign literature.

Allen, a Santa Monica-Malibu School District board member, gained the group’s endorsement by an overwhelming 71 percent of the vote, well above the 60 percent threshold needed for the group’s endorsement.

 “I’m thrilled to have been endorsed by the people who know me best,” Allen told the Lookout. “I was born and raised in Santa Monica, and I’m really excited about the possibility of representing this wonderful community in Sacramento.”

In addition to the Santa Monica Democrats, Allen is endorsed by the Santa Monicans for Renters Rights (SMRR), the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club, the Los Angeles County Young Democrats, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky

The club also voted to endorse Assembly member and former Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom, who failed to win the group’s backing two years ago.  Bloom won with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Bloom is also endorsed by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the State Democratic Party, the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club and SMRR.

He will face a lone Republican challenger, attorney Brad Torgen, in the June election, which is an open primary.

By contrast Allen faces a crowded field.  The six other Democratic candidates are former State assembly member Betsy Butler, activist Sandra Fluke, Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, surgeon Vito Imbasciani, former attorney Barbi Appelquist and television writer Patric Verrone.

An Independent, Seth Stodder, is also running. There is no Republican in the race.

The club also voted to back Betty Yee for California State Controller by an overwhelming majority over former speaker of the Assembly John Perez. 

Yee, who received 69 percent of the vote, was the chief deputy director for budget under Governor Grey Davis and chief deputy of Board of Equalization member Carole Migden before being appointed to Migden’s vacant seat. 

Yee won her first election for the seat in 2006 and was reelected in 2010. She announced her candidacy in spring of 2013, hoping to replace John Chiang as Controller.

Yee is also backed by the Progressive Democrats of Santa Monica Mountains, Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton, and the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club

“The Santa Monica Democratic club is pleased to be able to give serious support for the candidates as they head into the June 3 Primary and we’re honored to be able to give our endorsement in time for the primary,” said Jay Johnson, co-president of the Democratic Club.

Last month, the Club endorsed former state senator Sheila Kuehl for county supervisor and Derek Cressman for secretary of state.  They did not pick a candidate to back in the election to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman. (“Santa Monica Dems Back Kuehl for County Supervisor”, April 25, 2014)

The club has endorsed Jerry Brown for governor, Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor, Kamala Harris for attorney general, John Chiang for treasurer, David Jones for insurance commissioner, Tom Torlakson for superintendent of public instruction and Jerome Horton for the district's seat on the Board of Equalization.

The group will not make an endorsement for the election of county sheriff, officials said.

Under California’s open primary system, the top two vote-getters in the June 3 primary, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the General Election in November.

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