Well-known names, political outsider among candidates in Los Angeles Supervisors race

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In the crowded race for Los Angeles County Supervisor in District 2, four candidates lead in fundraising and most are political veterans.

State Senator Holly Mitchell was elected to the state Assembly in 2010 and then the Senate in 2013.

She is the chair of the senate budget committee and says the issues she tackled in Sacramento are also the main issues here at home.

"Our level of poverty, our rate of the unhoused, the number of kids in foster care, all of the myriad issues that are impacting the county as a whole but the second district disproportionately," said Mitchell.

She believes the main issue affecting the district is homelessness, but there is more to it.

"You can't talk about the unhoused and not talk about the cost of housing because they are connected, so we have to stabilize our communities. In the second district, gentrification is a major fear," said Mitchell.

Herb Wesson is well known in the political world. He served in the California State Assembly from 1998 until 2004 and was speaker in 2002.

In 2005, he was elected to the Los Angeles City Council.

Wesson says, "The main challenge of course is housing with a balance of market rate housing, low-income housing and housing for the homeless."

He says the district which reaches from Downtown Los Angeles South to Carson and from Lynwood to Culver City has tremendous growth opportunities.

"From a financial perspective it is about jobs, it is about creating opportunities for individuals to be able to find a pathway into the middle class," says Wesson

Jan Perry also brings with her a lot of experience. She was on the city council from 2001 through 2013 and dealt with the issue of homelessness back then.

"I've actually done it before, I represented Skid Row for twelve years so I've done all of this before and I want to do it on a much larger scale with greater resources," says Perry.

Perry was also in charge of the city's Economic and Workforce Development Department where she says she helped build local business and strengthen the workforce.

"I transform people's communities with them as my partner and my ally, and try to lift people up in the best way that I know, which is to communicate and to make sure you keep all of your promises," says Perry.

Jake Jeong is a true outsider in this race. He is a Korean immigrant who came by himself to the U.S. in 2004.

He went to Loyola Law School and became an attorney. He decided to run because he feels the politicians in office now aren't doing enough.

"If you think about what has happened after those elections... nothing... or things got worse and looking at the candidates I thought who could I vote for and I could not find the right candidate," says Jeong.

Jeong feels a major issue is low-income housing. He says using money from Proposition HHH to build housing is costing about $500,000 per unit. He feels the county could build modular units on existing public land.

"The total cost is only $130,000 per unit. That's not even 25 percent of what Triple H is spending," says Jeong.

With so many well-known names running it is likely no one will reach 50 percent of the vote and there would be a runoff in November.
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