Ready to rumble

Ready to rumble

Robinson, Portantino to battle for Liu's state Senate seat

By André Coleman 07/10/2013

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District 1 Pasadena City Councilwoman Jacque Robinson has announced plans to square off against fellow Democrat and former state Assemblymen Anthony Portantino for the 25th District state Senate seat currently held by Sen. Carol Liu, who terms out of office in 2016.

Portantino, a former mayor of La Cañada Flintridge who termed out of office in 2012, announced his intentions to run for Liu’s seat two weeks ago. The state Senate district includes La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale.

“People have always asked me if I had an interest in running for higher office. I never ruled it out, but at the time I was focused on my City Council responsibilities,” Robinson told the Pasadena Weekly last week. “The fact that the Senate seat is an open seat is attractive and I can bring my local government experience and perspective to the state level.”

Robinson, who was first elected to the City Council in 2007, helped pass a balanced city budget this year, has led the fight for local hiring and contracting on several high-profile city projects such as the Rose Bowl renovation, and founded the Pasadena/Altadena Vision 20/20 Initiative, aimed at decreasing violence and providing education and employment opportunities for high-risk, high-need youth, young adults, and their families.

“I’m totally cognizant and aware that I have a current job to do,” Robinson said. “I will continue to do that as vice mayor of Pasadena, but I am looking forward to getting out and meeting the people of the 25th Senate District.”

Portantino opened an exploratory committee to challenge Liu for the senate seat in 2012, but later decided not to run so that he could care for his ailing mother, Barbara, in New Jersey, who died on Jan. 25.

Portantino held a campaign kick-off event in Pasadena on June 30 and has already raised more than $300,000.

An outspoken advocate for open government, Portantino made headlines in 2012 after accusing Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) of retaliating against him for bucking his party on the state budget. The fight ended in a lawsuit over the Legislative Open Records Act, with Portantino demanding the release of lawmakers’ spending records after Perez accused him of being an excessive spender and cut his office budget.

In California’s open primary system, the two top vote-getters proceed to the general election.

Robinson told the online magazine Pasadena Now that she will run in the March 2015 election to retain her City Council seat prior to the Assembly contest.

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Comments

Portantino had the mettle to stand up to John Perez, at great personal cost and sacrifice, putting his money where his mouth is, unlike most of the other lawmakers. It will be interesting to see if Perez sticks his nose into this race in the attempt to keep a formidable adversary like Portantino out of Sacramento. Robinson is a wonderful lady, but go Portantino, we need more Open Government advocates!

posted by Vivavilla on 7/11/13 @ 08:01 p.m.
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