All elections matter, but some matter more — and the June 7 primary is such a moment in Los Angeles and California. The results on election day could bring a significant shift in the political landscape.
To help voters choose, the Times editorial page publishes endorsements based on candidate interviews and independent reporting. Every registered voter will be mailed a ballot in early May, giving people ample time to read up on the candidates, tune in to a forum, consider endorsements, including ours, and make a decision before the last day of voting on June 7.
LOS ANGELES CITY
Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor
Karen Bass is an extraordinarily qualified, battle-tested, mission-driven leader, and should be L.A.'s next mayor.
Hydee Feldstein Soto for Los Angeles city attorney
Hydee Feldstein Soto would bring deep legal expertise, independence and intellectual curiosity to the job.
Kenneth Mejia for L.A. city controller
For this job, government outsider Kenneth Mejia is particularly impressive because the 31-year-old certified public accountant and auditor has used his campaign to demonstrate the kind of transparency-and-data-driven controller he would be — and that’s why The Times is endorsing him.
Los Angeles City Council
Eunisses Hernandez for City Council District 1
Policy advocate and community organizer Eunisses Hernandez has a record of moving forward big, complicated systemic reforms. That’s what L.A. needs.
Bob Blumenfield for City Council District 3
Bob Blumenfield has been a steady and conscientious member of the City Council and a good advocate for his district.
Katy Young Yaroslavsky for City Council District 5
Katy Young Yaroslavsky is a seasoned candidate who has a track record of forming coalitions, listening to people and negotiating complicated issues.
Monica Rodriguez for City Council District 7
Monica Rodriguez is an effective public servant who is well versed in the needs and challenges of her district and committed to making life better for residents.
Dulce Vasquez for City Council District 9
Dulce Vasquez will prioritize constituent service and be a visionary yet pragmatic leader in this South L.A. district.
Erin Darling for City Council District 11
Erin Darling will be a smart and thoughtful representative of this Westside district.
Kate Pynoos for City Council District 13
Kate Pynoos calls herself a progressive with practical experience and she brings a fresh perspective that the district needs.
Danielle Sandoval for City Council District 15
Community organizer and entrepreneur Danielle Sandoval is a grass-roots politician who would bring a fresh perspective to City Hall.
Charter Amendment BB: Yes
Charter Amendment BB would change the charter to let Los Angeles give businesses in the city a competitive edge when bidding for municipal contracts.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
Los Angeles County Sheriff
Robert Luna for L.A. County sheriff
Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna has a stellar law enforcement record from outside the Sheriff’s Department, including leadership roles in national police organizations with a reform bent. After decades of sheriff scandals and ineptitude, and more than three years of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s attempts to resist civilian oversight and scuttle hard-won reforms, Luna may well be the department’s last best chance.
Jeffrey Prang for Los Angeles County assessor
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang is seeking reelection this year, and voters would be wise to give him a third term. Prang has worked to modernize the office by upgrading its computer system (a project that is still unfolding) and digitizing records. He has tackled the backlog of assessment appeals and put in place a $45 filing fee to reduce meritless appeals, and is developing new ways to recruit and train assessors to fill the vacancies in his department.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Hilda Solis for the 1st supervisorial district
Hilda Solis has served the county and its people well in the years leading up to and including the pandemic. Voters should give her one more term to complete her ambitious agenda for a county overhaul based on equity and service delivery.
Lindsey Horvath for the 3rd supervisorial district
West Hollywood Council Member Lindsey Horvath has the drive and creative energy to help L.A. County realize its lofty goals for serving marginalized residents.
Maria Brenes for L.A. Unified school board
Voters in District 2 — which encompasses downtown L.A., Los Feliz, Highland Park, Boyle Heights, El Sereno and East L.A. — have two good choices: Maria Brenes, the executive director of East L.A. advocacy group InnerCity Struggle; and Rocio Rivas, policy deputy to school board member Jackie Goldberg.
Voters can’t go wrong by picking either candidate. But Brenes has a slight advantage over Rivas. She has actively worked for years to bring a sense of urgency to improving educational outcomes in under-resourced schools that had low expectations of their Black and Latino students.
Nick Melvoin for L.A. Unified school board
Voters in District 4 — which includes Hancock Park, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Encino, Tarzana and Woodland Hills — don’t have inspiring options. But in the absence of a stronger challenger, incumbent Melvoin should continue in the job.
He pushed for the district’s one-stop shop for school enrollment — where parents pick from community schools, magnets and other schools — to include charter schools.
Kelly Gonez for L.A. Unified school board
Incumbent Kelly Gonez was seen as a reform/charter candidate when she first won office in 2017. But Gonez, a former charter school teacher, is more likely to take balanced positions based on the individual issues, not on a particular ideological bent in placing the needs of underserved students first.
Among other things, she had a hand in tripling the number of dual-language programs in the East Valley, which she represents. The area had relatively few such programs compared with the rest of the school district.
COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Office 3: Sherilyn Peace Garnett
Sherilyn Peace Garnett is a well-regarded judge who has been appointed to federal district court. If Garnett receives more than 50% of the vote June 7, the office will be vacant and the governor would be able to appoint a new judge. The other candidates in the race are not stand outs.
Office 60: Abby Baron
Prosecutor Abby Baron has received praise not just from police and crime victims’ advocates but also from defense attorneys, who cite her fairness and desire for a just result rather than a conviction at all costs.
Office 67: Fernanda Maria Barreto
Prosecutor Fernanda Maria Barreto has earned respect for her sensitive handling of dozens of violent felony cases following a brief civil practice and several years of prosecuting domestic violence.
Office 70: Holly Hancock
Holly Hancock is a deputy public defender who possesses the valuable combination of self-confidence and civility so essential in a judge who must control a courtroom with a firm but careful hand during high-stakes proceedings when emotions are running high.
Office 90: Melissa Lyons
Prosecutor Melissa Lyons is noteworthy for her trial experience in the sex crimes division and for the time and effort she devotes to community programs to help law students as well as young people living in areas with high gang activity.
Office 116: David Gelfound
David Gelfound is a highly regarded Los Angeles Superior Court judge who is being challenged on spurious grounds.
Office 118: Melissa Hammond
Deputy Dist. Atty. Melissa Hammond is the rare candidate whose career includes civil law, criminal defense and prosecution, giving her an unusual and valuable perspective on the legal system.
Office 151: Patrick Hare
Patrick Hare is an experienced and widely respected deputy public defender who handled more than 100 jury trials, as well as non-criminal matters such as conservatorships and juvenile dependency cases.
Office 156: Carol Elswick
Judge Carol Elswick crossed the line in improperly ordering defendants in her courtroom into custody. That earned her a 2018 rebuke and properly so. It has also resulted in a reelection challenge, one that voters might seriously consider except that her challenger, Carson politician Albert Robles, has also run into problems in the past.
Gavin Newsom for governor
Voters should elect Gov. Gavin Newsom to another term and hold him accountable for turning his progressive vision into reality.
Rob Bonta for California attorney general
Bonta is the one candidate of the bunch prepared to uphold and defend the laws that Californians have repeatedly supported. He should be elected to a full term as attorney general.
Lanhee Chen for California controller
We believe Lanhee Chen is the best choice for this position. Why? Because he is a sharp thinker with experience analyzing large financial systems, and because the controller should be as independent from the party in power as possible.
Marc Levine for state insurance commissioner
Californians deserve elected officials who will operate ethically regardless of whether their name is in the headlines. For this reason and others, we believe Assemblymember Marc Levine will make a better insurance commissioner than incumbent Ricardo Lara.
The editorial board endorses selectively, choosing the most consequential races in which to make recommendations.
Caroline Menjivar for the 20th state Senate District
With an understanding of how governments serve people and a record of doing the work, Caroline Menjivar is well prepared to represent her community in the state Senate and help craft policy for all Californians.
Juan Carrillo for Assembly District 39
With his career as a city planner and his experience in public education, Juan Carrillo would bring important perspectives to the state Capitol.
Tina McKinnor for Assembly District 62 — and 61
Tina McKinnor, a longtime community activist, is the best choice in the special election to fill a vacant Assembly seat and the regular election for the next term.
Elizabeth Alcantar for Assembly District 64
A champion for environmental justice, Cudahy Mayor Elizabeth Alcantar is the best candidate to represent southeast L.A. County in the Assembly.
U.S. HOUSE & SENATE
Alex Padilla for U.S. Senate
In the year since he was appointed to fill Kamala Harris’ seat in the U.S. Senate after she was elected vice president, Alex Padilla has proven that he is as capable, as honorable, as skilled a lawmaker as we expected.
Christy Smith for the 27th Congressional District
Democrat Christy Smith wants to strengthen voting rights, make college and trade schools more affordable and carry legislation to put a social worker in every school that serves low-income children.
Sydney Kamlager for the 37th Congressional District
State Sen. Sydney Kamlager’s experience negotiating legislation, parsing the state budget and navigating Sacramento’s political labyrinth have prepared her for the rigors of Washington, D.C.
Robert Garcia for the 42nd Congressional District
Robert Garcia, the Democratic mayor of Long Beach, blends hard-charging progressive values with an inspiring expression of optimism, along with pragmatism.