Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Longtime Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich won’t leave office until the end of next year, but the race to succeed him already has drawn seven candidates, with one high-profile elected official expected to join the field any day and another seriously considering running.

Given that this will be the first time in more than 35 years that Antonovich won’t be on the ballot, some observers predict the number of hopefuls will at least double by the close of the candidate filing period early next year.

So far, the top-tier candidates for the officially nonpartisan seat are Republicans, like the termed-out Antonovich — a testament to the sprawling 5th District’s status as a final GOP stronghold in an increasingly Democratic county, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Among those who’ve filed preliminary campaign paperwork with election officials is State Sen. Robert Huff, R-Diamond Bar, the minority floor leader. He kicked off his campaign Thursday with a news conference in Monrovia that emphasized his ties to the San Gabriel Valley, part of the district he and his wife have moved into so he can run.

Other GOP candidates, The Times reported Monday, are Kathryn Barger, a longtime Antonovich aide who has received the supervisor’s endorsement; Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr, a social moderate who demonstrated a strong fundraising ability in a Westside congressional race last year and has since moved into the 5th District; and Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian, an attorney with deep roots in the area’s large and politically active Armenian community.

Many observers expect Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who represents the San Fernando Valley and is City Hall’s only elected Republican, to enter the race in the coming days, according to The Times.

Englander said through a spokesman Friday that he is “honored and flattered that so many people have asked me to consider running…. It is a very serious decision …”

Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said through a spokeswoman Friday that he is “taking a serious look” at entering the race. “He feels it’s important that the northern part of the county has a voice,” spokeswoman Lisa Johnson said, according to The Times.

—City News Service

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