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Race to fill Becerra's congressional seat grows more crowded

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11:  U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) speaks to members of the media as he arrives at a closed briefing for members of the House of Representatives June 11, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Officials from the National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice were on the Hill to brief House members on the National Security Agency and government surveillance programs.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO. U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra speaks to the media as he arrives at a briefing for members of the House of Representatives June 11, 2013 on Capitol Hill. The list of candidates seeking his seat has grown longer following his nomination as California attorney general.

In the weeks following Gov. Jerry Brown's nomination of Los Angeles Congressman Xavier Becerra as California’s new attorney general, the race to fill Becerra's U.S. House seat has become increasingly crowded. 

As of Friday, 11 candidates had put their name forward to represent the 34th U.S. Congressional District in Los Angeles. The district covers communities like Eagle Rock and Los Angeles' Chinatown. 

None of the candidates are big household names; a few L.A. City Council members had considered running but backed out.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez is one of the better-known names in the running. He's already landed the endorsement of California’s Senator-elect Kamala Harris as well as L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The field of candidates also includes:

  • Kenneth Mejia, a young newcomer to politics who lists forgiving student debt as a priority.
  • Wendy Carrillo, a labor activist from Boyle Heights.
  • Sara Hernandez, former LAUSD teacher and the executive director for the nonprofit Coro Southern California.
  • Alejandra Campoverdi, a USC graduate and former Obama administration aide.
  • Raymond Meza, a Democrat and labor organizer in Los Angeles.
  • Steven Mac, a prosecutor for Los Angeles County.
  • Arturo Carmona, a Democrat who worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign.
  • Karl Siganporia, a Republican from San Jose.
  • Yolie Flores, a former LAUSD board member who served from 2007-2011.
  • Ramon Barajas, a Republican from Los Angeles.

Meza, who worked on the effort to bring a $15 hourly minimum wage in Los Angeles County, had not filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission as of Friday. But he released a YouTube video announcing his candidacy earlier this week. He told KPCC he plans to file next week after the holiday. 

All other candidates listed had filed with the FEC, including Becerra, whose selection as attorney general will need to be confirmed by state lawmakers.

Becerra's congressional seat will be filled by special election. The governor has yet to set a date for that, but the election is expected in the coming months.