L.A. freshman lawmaker class

Capitol Weekly has put together capsule summaries of what there is to know about the newly elected Los Angeles-area politicos who will be swarming into Sacramento on Dec. 1. Here's my digest of CW's longer take:

Steve Knight, R-Palmdale

Knight's unexpectedly close race had something to do with John McCain's weak showing at the top of the Republican ticket. But it also underscores a new political reality that the freshman Assemblyman must be cognizant of as he takes office. The high desert above Log Angeles is changing....

Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys

If powerful friends are the key to success in California, than incoming Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield is a rookie to watch....The alliance is significant for what it may portend during the next round of Congressional gerrymandering....Latinos are eager to carve out a Congressional seat in the San Fernando Valley. Both [Felipe] Fuentes and [Alex] Padilla are prime candidates to run for that seat, should one exist. That would mean collapsing [Howard] Berman's Valley district with Brad Sherman's Westside district, setting up some serious tensions between a pair of sitting Congressmen.

John Perez, D-Los Angeles

Perez is a well-known force in Los Angeles politics, and is not known as the easiest boss to work for. He is smart, but tough, and it will be interesting to see how he makes the transition from behind the scenes power broker to elected official. We're already hearing rumblings that there may be more fallout from the deal that helped ease Perez's path to victory.

Isadore Hall, D-Compton

This was another one of the nastier primary races, but in the end it wasn't close....Hall touts his experience in real estate as a foundation for his pro-business political philosophy, helping to lure businesses such as Best Buy into the city of Compton.

Bonnie Lowenthal D-Long Beach

Related legislators have become a bit of a Capitol obsession in the term limits era, with multiple members of the Calderon, Strickland, Burton, and (almost) Florez clans gracing the halls at or almost at the same time. Now, for the next two years, Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, will grace the building along with his ex-wife.

Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills

Law enforcement backgrounds are common among Republican members, but Hagman brings a slightly different version-he's a bail bondsman and former private investigator. As CEO of Apex Bail Bonds in Pomona, he oversees a staff of 22 spread across five locations.

Norma Torres, D-Pomona

Lots of Democrats claim to represent unions, but Norma Torres actually belongs to one. Working as a bilingual Spanish/English 911 operator for years, she was a member of AFSCME 3090. She eventually worked her way up from a AFSCME shop steward to become a city councilwoman and mayor of Pomona, this last job being the one she gave up to join the Assembly.

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