CORRECTION: Please note correction of the spelling of Elan Carr’s name below. Mr. Carr is a candidate for the LA County Supervisor’s seat.
By Brandon HENSLEY
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich is running for California state Senate in 2016.
The announcement came on Saturday at the third annual La Crescenta Valley Republican Women Federated picnic at Two Strike Park as first reported online by CV Weekly. There had been rumors that Antonovich might throw his hat in the ring, and his decision was met with enthusiasm from the crowd.
Antonovich will run to fill Democrat Sen. Carol Liu’s seat in the 25th District. Antonovich is heading into a hotly contested election, with former Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D) and present Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D) also vying for the same seat.
“It’ll be a tough campaign, but we look forward to addressing issues at the state level that have not been addressed,” Antonovich said after the picnic.
Some of those issues have to do with crime. Antonovich mentioned Proposition 47, a measure passed in 2014 that reduced the classification of most “non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” from a felony to a misdemeanor.
He also criticized Assembly Bill 109, enacted in 2011. AB 109 meets the U.S. Supreme Court’s order to reduce prison population in the state’s 33 prisons. It allows for certain criminals to be moved from a state prison so they can be supervised at a local county level.
Antonovich said both Prop. 47 and AB 109 have helped create a crime increase in our county and state.
“Those laws have to be reformed. Crime is skyrocketing and we need leadership to address these issues coming from the county, where we’ve had involvement with the issues firsthand,” he said.
Antonovich also checked off the water crisis and emancipated youth as crucial issues to address.
“We need to have young people with support systems in place to become productive citizens,” he said. “We should be encouraging faith communities to be involved in foster and adoption programs.”
Antonovich brings years of experience to the race. He served in the California State Assembly from 1972 to 1978. In 1980 he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing the fifth district. This is his last term as supervisor due to a 2002 voter approved term limit initiative.
Other speakers at the picnic included Tom Del Beccaro, a candidate for U.S. Senate, and Kathryn Barger, Antonovich’s current chief of staff who is a candidate to succeed him as county supervisor as well as Elan Carr criminal gang prosecutor and Iraq war veteran who is also running for the Supervisor’s seat.
“She needs no on-the-job training and will keep the same policies and staff that I have had,” Antonovich said of his endorsement of Barger.