Sean Belk and Cory Bilicko
Signal Tribune Staff
Termed-out 70th District Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal announced during a press conference Thursday, Sept. 5 that she will join the eight other candidates who have filed paperwork to run for mayor of Long Beach.
Lowenthal, whose family has a long history in local politics, was re-elected in 2012 to a third term in the State Assembly, representing the newly redrawn 70th State Assembly district. Her term will expire in November 2014. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Lowenthal was elected in 2001 to represent the 1st District on the Long Beach City Council, serving through December 2008.
“I am running for mayor because my heart is with this city,” said Lowenthal, who said she has served for just about every level of government in Long Beach, from the Board of Education to the City Council and most recently State Assembly in the past 40-plus years. “I will tell you serendipity is not new to me, but each level that I served at has never been a plan.. it’s been an opportunity that was brought to me that made a lot of sense, and now the mayor of Long Beach makes a lot of sense for me.”
Prior to Lowenthal’s announcement, a handful of local dignitaries and community members spoke in favor of the candidate and gave their endorsements, including State Sen. Ted Lieu, Long Beach Unified School District Boardmember Mary Stanton, International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Executive Boardmember Peter Peyton.
The event took place in the office of Keesal, Young & Logan on the 14th floor of the Union Bank Building at 400 Oceangate in downtown, overlooking the Port of Long Beach. The event drew a crowd of about 50 people and was hosted by Los Angeles Harbor Commission Vice President David Arian, who also gave his endorsement.
Lowenthal said throughout her career, she has also taught at both Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach and has been a mental-health consultant for local non-profits, she said.
The other candidates seeking the office of Long Beach mayor, in order of the date in which they filed, are: Damon Dunn, Jana Shields, Gerrie Schipske, Doug Otto, Robert Garcia, Suja Lowenthal, Kareem Muhammad and Richard Camp.