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Nov 15 2011

AD-66: Huey, Mintz and Muratsuchi Will Face Off In 2012 South Bay Assembly Race

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Craig Huey, with 30+ years of business experience creating jobs, announces he is running for the new 66th Assembly Seat.

Two Tea Party Republicans and a Democratic School Board member will face off in 2012 for a newly created South Bay California Assembly Seat.

Three candidates have already announced their intentions to run next year in a newly created state Assembly district that takes in much of the South Bay.

Businessman Craig Huey on Tuesday formally told supporters that he plans to run against fellow Republican Nathan Mintz, who already has expressed his interest in running for the new 66th Assembly District, which was created last summer by an independent redistricting panel.

The district takes in Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Torrance, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Lomita, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the unincorporated area known as west Carson.

Torrance Unified school board member Al Muratsuchi told supporters last weekend that he’s entering the race as a Democrat.

“The problems in Sacramento are probably worse than the problems in Washington, D.C.,” said Huey, who lost to Janice Hahn in the July runoff to replace Democrat Jane Harman in the 36th Congressional District, which stretches from Venice to San Pedro.

“Decisions are not being made in Sacramento to turn the state around,” Huey said. “I’m not running to get a job or to kowtow to the special interests. I’m going to be the career politician’s worst enemy.”

Muratsuchi, a deputy attorney general who was elected six years ago to the Torrance school board, held a reception Saturday to discuss his run for Assembly. He opted out of running for the 53rd Assembly District seat just months after announcing his candidacy.

Mintz announced his intention for the new Assembly seat shortly after the California Citizens Redistricting Commission approved a new set of boundaries for the state’s 53 congressional, 40 state Senate, 80 Assembly and four Board of Equalization districts.

“I’ve been frustrated with the gridlock in Sacramento, so I want to go up there and work for the greater good,” said Mintz, an aerospace engineer and founder of the South Bay Tea Party movement who unsuccessfully ran last year for the 53rd Assembly District.

“Craig Huey is coming to the party a little late,” Mintz said, taking aim at his Republican rival. “I know he feels he can write himself a big check and buy this race, but the voters of the district may have a different opinion in 2012.”

Al Muratsuchi and Nathan Mintz

This race will be one to watch. You have two Republicans with very high name recognition in the district (Mintz having run and lost previously in November 2010 in the 53rd Assembly race) and an unknown Democrat.

The district is fairly even in registration and remember it is the top two candidates in June 2012 who move on to the November general election.

I agree with Alan Hoffenblum, this will be a fun race to watch.

I give the edge to Craig Huey since he will be able to write the big check. And, Huey will hope that Mintz can be persuaded to withdraw – but, I don’t think this will happen.

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