Stonewall Democrats Endorse Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) for Mayor of Los Angeles
Eric Strong for LA County Sheriff and Pete Hardin for OC District Attorney Also Win Endorsements
LOS ANGELES — With over 200 members in attendance, Stonewall Democratic Club members voted on several key endorsements Monday night, including in the City of Los Angeles mayoral race, after hosting the first LA Mayor Candidate Forum in the 2022 campaign cycle on December 12th. Also on the agenda were endorsement considerations for Los Angeles City Attorney, Los Angeles City Controller, Orange County District Attorney, and Los Angeles County Sheriff.
Late in the evening, via Zoom, the membership voted to endorse US House Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) for mayor by a majority of 73%. Moments after the vote, Bass tweeted her thanks to Stonewall, announcing that she is “honored to have earned the support of @StonewallDemsLA.”
The Stonewall endorsement committee made a recommendation of Hydee Feldstein Soto for Los Angeles City Attorney, but Soto failed to receive the 60% threshold needed to approve the endorsement in a split 50/50 vote, and the race for City Attorney was tabled until the January general membership meeting on January 24, 2022.
The committee recommended a “no consensus” vote on the Los Angeles City Controller race, and the membership voted to adopt the recommendation.
Members also voted to endorse law enforcement veteran Eric Strong for LA County Sheriff after the endorsements committee interviewed five candidates, including the incumbent, embattled Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Strong, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, Los Angeles World Airport Police Chief Cecil Rhambo, and Sheriff’s Department Chief Eli Vera. In recommending Strong to the membership, the committee reported that “[Strong] had demonstrated genuine empathy, drawing upon his own personal interactions with law enforcement… of the candidates interviewed, Strong was the most likely to create lasting change at the Sherriff's Department.”
Several of the candidates, including Strong and the incumbent, Villanueva, addressed the membership before Strong’s endorsement was adopted by a vote of 63%. “I am here to do what’s best for this community, and for all of our families,” said Strong, thanking the Club for its endorsement at the meeting.
“The Sheriff’s Department is broken, and across the country, we are seeing calls for a reimagining of our policing models,” said Stonewall President Alex Mohajer in a statement. “Our organization has a unique responsibility to urge policing reforms. Eric Strong is the only candidate to talk about compassion in policing and propose concrete ideas for disbanding deputy gangs and evaluating police performance. He went on record offering Stonewall and other community stakeholders a seat at the table — and we intend to hold him to it.”
The club also voted to approve the endorsement of Pete Hardin for Orange County District Attorney. Hardin is a Democrat challenging embattled Republican DA Todd Spitzer on a platform of protecting the LGBTQ+ community, addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and holding law enforcement accountable.
The next General Membership Meeting will be on Monday Jan 31, 2022.
Founded in 1975, the Stonewall Democratic Club is one of the nation’s oldest LGBTQ+ political advocacy organizations and one of the largest Democratic Clubs in the state of California. To join or learn more, visit www.stonewalldems.org.
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