State Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia to challenge Long Beach mayor in district race

Cristina Garcia District 42 Congressional Race

State Assemblywoman Cristian Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, center, attends an event at Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens to recognize constituents of District 58. Photo: Office of Cristina Garcia.

State Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, has thrown her hat into the ring to represent a congressional district that Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia also has his eye on, setting the stage for a competitive June primary election for the Democrats.

The new 42nd District in essence combines the 47th District — without the Orange County sections — and the 40th District. That map will create a district that is majority Latino, be anchored by Long Beach, and include several Southeast Los Angeles cities Garcia represents in the Assembly, including Bell, Downey, and Huntington Park.

The assemblywoman, who has served in Sacramento since 2012, said in a statement she will focus her campaign on issues of environmental justice, good governance, and women and children’s advocacy.

“It’s time for our communities –who have so often been ignored and neglected — to take our place at the table,” Cristina Garcia said in a statement and on Twitter Thursday.

District 42

The new 42nd Congressional District, left, extends from Long Beach to Southeast Los Angeles, compared to the 47th Congressional District, which was absorbed into the 42nd District.

She announced her congressional candidacy three days after Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard said she wouldn’t run for reelection. Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress, made her announcement the same day the final redistricting maps absorbed her 40th District into the 47th District, which Long Beach Democrat Alan Lowenthal represents.

Lowenthal also announced this month that he will not seek reelection next year. One day later, Robert Garcia said he’s a candidate for the 47th District seat.

Garcia has faced some controversy during her time in the California Legislature. In 2018, she was accused of sexual harassment, which she repeatedly denied, but two investigations followed.

Garcia easily won reelection that year —  just weeks before the second investigation cleared her of a harassment charge.

In 2020, she was reelected again.

In her announcement, Garcia listed endorsements from 27 Southeast L.A. elected officials: Downey, Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Maywood, Vernon, Huntington Park, Cerritos and Montebello.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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