Rep. Judy Chu, State Senate candidate Mike Eng and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. (Photo by O.C. LEE)

Several San Gabriel Valley elected officials gathered March 24 in El Monte to help Mike Eng kick off his campaign for Senate District 22.

Eng, a Democrat, is no stranger to elected office, having served as mayor and councilmember of Monterey Park, a member of the State Assembly, and vice chair of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, as well as vice chair of the State Board of Acupuncture and president of the Monterey Park Library Board of Trustees.

While in the Assembly, he chaired the Committee on Transportation, the Committee on Business and Professions, and the Committee on Banking and Finance. He was the main author of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, authored California’s Human Right to Water, passed the first California law to disaggregate ethnic demographic data in order to serve the specific needs of Asian and Pacific Islander communities, and pioneered the first comprehensive survey of the community college system, which revealed that one in five students is homeless.

Eng founded a downtown immigration law firm and has taught at UCLA, Los Angeles Trade Tech College and University of the West. Currently an instructor at Cal State Los Angeles, he obtained his law degree from UCLA and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Hawaii.

If elected, he said, he will continue to fight to protect consumers; address water shortages; make schools safer; clean up the environment; reduce student loan debt; serve the needs of immigrant communities; and help grow the economy.

The district includes Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, Industry, La Puente, West Covina, Azusa, Covina, Temple City, and Arcadia. It is currently represented by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D), who is termed out of the Legislature and is running for lieutenant governor.

The other Democratic candidates are union organizer Ruben Sierra and Baldwin Park City Councilmembers Susan Rubio and Monica Garcia. A fifth candidate, Michael L. Adams of La Puente, has no party preference.

In addition to Hernandez, who has endorsed Eng, and Lily Lee Chen, Monterey Park’s first Chinese American woman mayor, those who attended the campaign kickoff include:

– Rep. Judy Chu (Eng’s wife), Rep. Grace Napolitano, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis

– Walnut Mayor Mary Su, Rosemead Mayor Polly Low, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, Monterey Park Mayor Peter Chan, Alhambra Vice Mayor Jeff Maloney, San Gabriel Vice Mayor Jason Pu, West Covina City Councilmember James Toma, San Gabriel City Councilmember Chin-Ho Liao, Monterey Park City Clerk Vincent Chang

– Los Angeles Community College District Board Vice President Mike Fong, Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education member Adele Andrade-Stadler, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board President Thomas Wong, Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Board member Bryan Urias, California Democratic Party 48th Assembly District Delegate Florencio Briones

Eng’s other endorsers include Reps. Norma Torres and Karen Bass, California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, State Sen. Connie Leyva, former State Sen. Carol Liu, Assemblymembers Ed Chau and Lorenz Gonzalez Fletcher; Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger, Janice Hahn and Mark Ridley-Thomas; labor leader Dolores Huerta; California Democratic Party; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; California Association of Highway Patrolmen; Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs; National Latino Peace Officers Association Advocacy

The primary will be held on June 5. If no one wins outright, the top two vote-getters will face off in November.

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