Padilla declares

Council President Alex Padilla announced Thursday that, just like all the rumors say, he is running for the state Senate seat being vacated in the Valley by Richard Alarcon. Still just 32, Padilla is both the youngest council member and the longest-serving. Term limits mean he would be out of a job in 2009, so he is jumping instead into the Senate race. Alarcon also is termed out and apparently plans to run for the state Assembly seat held by Cindy Montanez. She, in turn, is said to be weighing a run against Padilla for the Senate or going for his old council seat. One problem: she lives in the city of San Fernando and would have to move into Los Angeles. Padilla, meanwhile, tells the Times that he would quit the council presidency if his candidacy interferes.

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