Monday, November 1, 2010

California Democrats endorse dead state senator for reelection, accuse Republicans of trying to take advantage of situation

A week after the death of state Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), Democrats have sent mailers to residents urging them to vote to reelect her. That would trigger a special election and give the party a chance to put up a new candidate.

The mailers featuring Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Democratic Party general counsel Martha Escutia do not say explicitly that Oropeza has died or that a vote for her will allow another Democrat to be considered.

"Senator Jenny Oropeza’s illness has been a tragedy," Escutia wrote in one. "Her strength through her struggle inspired us all."

"The Republicans are trying to take unfair advantage of Jenny’s tragedy," the mailer adds. "They suggest that voting for Jenny will only result in a costly Special Election. I am asking you to vote for Jenny Oropeza. If a Special Election is called in a few months, you’ll have the chance to thoughtfully elect your Senator for a new four-year term."

Bowen’s mailer, paid for by the California Democratic Party, is much the same, but adds, "You have a right to vote for her."

Oropeza died after a long illness Oct. 20, which was past the deadline to replace her on the ballot for the 28th Senate District. The predominantly Democratic district includes parts of Los Angeles, Long Beach and the South Bay.

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