Democratic Montebello Mayor Vanessa Delgado was sworn in Monday for her short term as the representative of the 32nd Senate District, and she confirmed she will have to surrender her municipal elected post in order to take the job.
Delgado emerged victorious Friday in the race, with an updated vote tally from the Aug. 7 special election giving her an insurmountable lead over Republican business owner Rita Topalian.
Delgado will only be serving the balance of the term of Artesia Democrat Tony Mendoza, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. That means she will only be in office until the end of November. Voters that month will choose between Topalian and Democrat Bob Archuleta to serve a new term that will begin in early December.
Delgado had campaigned for the full term as well, but while she finished second during the June primary to fill the remainder of Mendoza’s term, she oddly fell to third in virtually the same field of candidates in the race to serve a new term.
Delgado suggested earlier this summer that she might decline the Senate seat if she won last week’s election, because she didn’t want to lose her post in Montebello to take a short-term post in Sacramento. But she later said she would gladly take the Senate seat, regardless of how long she will serve.
She said last week she was awaiting a legal opinion from the city and state on whether she could maintain her seat, possibly while taking a temporary leave, while serving in the Senate. She announced Monday, however, that she will have to give up her post on the Montebello City Council.
“After exploring a number of options with the city of Montebello’s legal team, it is clear that a temporary leave of my City Council seat is not feasible,” Delgado said. “I believe that elected officials should hold themselves to the highest ethical standards and, as such, I must leave the City Council upon assuming this new office.”
Delgado said earlier she would gladly accept the short-term Senate seat to keep it in Democratic hands.
“Though my term will be short, I intend to make the most of it by working on legislation that addresses California’s affordable housing crisis and ensuring that our district gets its fair share of resources,” Delgado said. “… I am committed to the democratic ideals that this country was founded on.”
The district includes Artesia, Bellflower, Buena Park, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Rose Hills, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and Whittier.
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