July 25, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

1st District County Supervisor to be Elected Among 3 Worthy Candidates

Current 1st District County Supervisor Gloria Molina will be succeeded by one of three candidates vying for the seat.
Current 1st District County Supervisor Gloria Molina will be succeeded by one of three candidates vying for the seat.

Hilda Solis, a former Congresswoman and past head of the U.S. Department of Labor, appears poised to take over Gloria Molina’s seat as First District county Supervisor in today’s primary.

Solis has Molina’s endorsement, which is key to winning the district that stretches over much of eastern Los Angeles County from downtown to Claremont. Molina, the county’s first Latina supervisor, will term out in December after serving since 1991.

Solis also boasts a number of firsts, including as the only Latina U.S. Cabinet member to date. For most of her tenure in Congress, Solis served California’s 32nd district, which overlaps some of the district she’s now vying to represent.

April Saucedo Hood, a Long Beach Unified School District police officer, and El Monte City Councilman Juventino “J” Gomez are running against Solis for the post.

A Los Angeles native, Solis has an impressive list of supporters that includes Mayor Eric Garcetti and his predecessors Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan; more than a dozen members of Congress, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi; and powerful county unions such as Service Employees International Union Local 721 and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

Though the position on the Board of Supervisors is non-partisan, Gomez has the backing of the Los Angeles County Republican Party and well over a dozen local mayors and council representatives. Supervisor Michael Antonovich has also endorsed Gomez, who spent 38 years in county government, 12 of them working for Antonovich.

Hood, a Pico Rivera resident, has gotten little traction with endorsements or fundraising and will need to rely on grassroots support from voters.

Gomez counts public safety as his first priority and points to his record in increasing police presence in El Monte. He has railed at the notion that Solis is a shoo-in for the job.

“Our county is not a monarchy and our residents are not subjects to be dictated terms,” according to Gomez’s campaign website. “In our districts there will be no coronations.”

Hood was the first in her family to graduate from college, earning her degree at Cal State Dominguez Hills. She has worked in law enforcement for more than 10 years and is running on a platform of accessibility and transparency, citing a “desire to be a voice for the voiceless.”

Hood lists changes at the Sheriff’s Department and Department of Children and Family Services among her priorities.

During her time in Congress, Solis was known for her work on behalf of the environment and as an advocate for immigration reform. She has said her priorities as county supervisor would include job creation and reforming the county’s child welfare system.

“I believe the County of Los Angeles has many responsibilities to provide services to the community,” Solis said. “However, there is no greater responsibility than protecting our children and making sure they have the opportunity to succeed.”

In early May, the Los Angeles Times reported that Solis had been the subject of a federal investigation into whether she solicited subordinates to help re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012. Solis has denied any wrongdoing and the allegation seems to have done little to damage her campaign.

Support for Solis seems to guarantee that she will be among the top two-vote getters in the primary. However, Gomez or Hood could still keep her from garnering the 50 percent needed to avoid a November run-off election for the seat.

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