Assemblywoman Tina Simone McKinnor was set for a Tuesday rematch with Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles in her bid to retain her 61st Assembly District seat after the two finished at the top of a June special election, but he has stopped campaigning and instead endorsed his would-be opponent.
“I’m extremely honored for the outpouring (of) support I received during my Assembly race,” Pullen-Miles tweeted recently. “It was such a pleasure meeting so many wonderful folks during the campaign trail. However, I wanted to let you know that I am not actively campaigning for State Assembly.”
His name will still appear on the ballot.
McKinnor, a nonprofit director and businesswoman, bested Pullen-Miles in a June special election to fill the seat vacated by Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke. That victory allowed her to fill the seat until Dec. 4.
“I’m not taking anything for granted,” McKinnor told the Daily Breeze. “My campaign has hit the ground running again. We’re on the phones calling voters and we’ll walk every Saturday until Election Day. I want to make sure that I’m continuing to spread my values.”
Tuesday’s election will determine who will fill the seat for a full two-year term representing the district, which stretches from Venice on the north, Lawndale on the south, the unincorporated Westmont and West Athens areas on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
It also includes El Segundo, Hawthorne and Inglewood; the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Del Rey; and the unincorporated communities of Del Aire, Lennox and Marina del Rey.
Burke resigned the seat on Feb. 1, citing family priorities. She later joined the Sacramento-based integrated government affairs, strategic consulting and crisis communication firm Axiom Advisors as a principal.
McKinnor has pledged to support the extension of COVID-19 sick days and support for businesses “that are struggling to recover”; an “all hands on deck” approach to dealing with homelessness, including addressing rising rents, short-term rentals and the lack of affordable housing.
She also supports efforts to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated; “efforts to close illegal marijuana shops and to increase social equity and minority ownership of licensed cannabis businesses”; “funding that invests in new infrastructure that ensures equitable and sustainable development, housing near transit, public green spaces, broadband access, and EV charging stations”; single-payer health care and “state funding for career and technical education opportunities in state schools.”
McKinnor is the director of civic engagement for LA Voice, which describes itself as “a multi-racial, multi-faith organization with a mission to transform Los Angeles into a county that reflects the human dignity of all communities, with racial and economic equity and abundant life for all.”
Formerly, she was an operational director for the California Democratic Party and chief of staff to several Assembly members. She has was endorsed by the Los Angeles Times on March 16, with the paper calling her “most likely to be prepared and to support the critical legislation to address the state and the district’s biggest challenges.”
McKinnor has also been endorsed by Dolores Huerta, a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers, state Treasurer Fiona Ma, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Legislative Black Caucus, the California Legislative Progressive Caucus, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, nine state senators and 12 Assembly members.
Pullen-Miles, who was Burke’s district director, had received her endorsement.
The Oklahoma native became Lawndale’s first Black mayor in 2014 and now plans to seek re-election. He was previously elected to three terms on the City Council.