LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The seat held for three and a half decades by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich in the 5th District is up for grabs.
He will be stepping down after 36 years. CBS2/KCAL9’s Randy Paige spoke to 5 of the 10 candidates vying to replace Antonovich:READ MORE: Man Shot While Walking Dogs In Hollywood, 2 French Bulldogs Stolen
Kathryn Barger – Chief of Staff for Supervisor Michael Antonovich
Elan Carr – L.A. County Deputy District Attorney
Mitchell Englander – L.A. City Councilman
Bob Huff – CA State Senator
Ara Najarian – Glendale City Councilman
Kathryn Barger said her 28 years of experience working for the county – the last 15 as Antonovich’s chief of staff – gave her a unique understanding of the needs of the people in the district.
“I know the county. I understand the county from the bottom up, and I am about serving the people,” Barger said.
She said she is endorsed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, a democrat, and outgoing Supervisor Don Knabe, a Republican.
L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander said his experience as the only republican on the city council demonstrated his ability to be an effective leader .
“I’m the only candidate in this race that actually has the ability to cut through the partisan politics to get things done,” Englander touted.READ MORE: 2 People Killed, 3 Critically Hurt In Violent South LA Collision
Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said his record speaks for itself. “I just have a record of getting things done and not being stuck on any theoretical dogma, idealistic dogma that is going to prevent me from listening to all other sides of the issue.”
Najarian calls himself a moderate Republican and said the 5th District is far different today than it was when Antonovich first became supervisor in 1980.
“There’s a huge influx of immigrants. My wife is a Latina. So I have a very close relationship with the immigrant community,” Najarian said. “I’m the son of immigrants myself.”
Republican State Senator Bob Huff said he knows how to reach across the aisle too as the former senate minority leader. He added the most important issue facing the district is the need for more jobs.
“If we don’t turn around and start building, attracting more jobs in the middle class, we’re going to become more have, have not,” Huff said.
L.A. county prosecutor Elan Carr said public safety is priority and fighting crime is not just about jail cells and handcuffs; it’s taking care of kids before they turn to crime with universal preschool, after school programs and job training.
“We’re in effect betraying our children, and there’s no more precious asset than our children,” Carr said.MORE NEWS: At Least 2 Homes Destroyed When Wind-Whipped Fire Rips Through Bloomington Neighborhood
If none of the candidates get more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 7 election, the top two vote-getters will face off in November.