EMILY’s List Backs Chu in California Special

Posted March 12, 2009 at 2:12pm

In a move that was not altogether surprising but is likely to raise the financial stakes in the contest, EMILY’s List announced Thursday that it has endorsed California Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu (D) in the special House election to replace Hilda Solis, who is now secretary of Labor.

Chu, who is one of two Democratic frontrunners in the race along with state Sen. Gil Cedillo, attempted to use the endorsement to strengthen the links between herself and Solis, who held the seat for more than eight years. Those ties are important in a district where Hispanics make up about half of the Democratic voters.

“I am honored to receive the support of EMILY’s List, a long time friend and ally of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis,— Chu said in a statement. “As a member of Congress, I will continue to protect our working class families and fight for jobs and the economy, access to affordable health care, and finally, supporting our veterans and bringing our troops home.—

Ellen Malcolm, the president of EMILY’s List, said Chu is “an impressive candidate— who has earned the endorsement with 20 years of public service.

The endorsement from EMILY’s List, the fundraising powerhouse that endorses Democratic women who support abortion rights, should give Chu a nice financial cushion in the special election. Although no official totals have been released yet, Chu is generally believed to be ahead of Cedillo on the fundraising front right now.

Cedillo has a Capitol Hill fundraiser scheduled for March 24.

The special election to replace Solis in the San Gabriel Valley-based 32nd district has been scheduled for July 14. But the critical date in that contest is the all-party primary scheduled for May 19. If no candidate clears 50 percent in that preliminary contest, the top vote-getters from each party advance to the general election. The top Democrat is all but certain to be the district’s next representative in Congress.