Roger Hernández at an IHSS rally in 2014. Photo courtesy of the office of Assemblyman Roger Hernández
Roger Hernández at an IHSS rally in 2014. Photo courtesy of the office of Assemblyman Roger Hernández

Casting himself as “hometown boy,” Assemblyman Roger Hernández has officially launched his campaign to unseat his former boss, nine-term Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk).

Hernández, 40, a Democrat and former West Covina city councilman who is leaving the Assembly due to term limits, announced his candidacy Saturday at Galster Park.

“My focus is not to go to Congress and keep a seat warm,” Hernández told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “I believe Congresswoman Napolitano has done minimal-level work. I don’t see her championing protections for working families the way I have done it on a state legislative front.

“My focus is to go to work, to shake up the bushes (and) to empower other members of Congress to take the kind of leadership and legislative activism that’s going to bring the kind of results that we’re looking for.”

He touted a long list of legislative efforts he has pushed in the Assembly, including making large companies take greater responsibility for wage and safety violations affecting their outside contractors.

And he questioned how responsive Napolitano, 79, who lives in Norwalk at the far end of the San Gabriel Valley’s 32nd Congressional District, has been to her constituents.

“I stand before you a hometown boy,” Hernández told supporters according to the Los Angeles Times. “I am the only candidate in this race that actually lives in this congressional district. I am the only candidate in this race that actualy owns property in this district.”

Napolitano, who has announced plans to seek a 10th term, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that she wasn’t worried about the challenge from Hernandez, who worked as an aid in her office from 2000 to 2001.

“I’ve done a lot of good work for the whole of California, for Los Angeles and for the San Gabriel Valley.

— City News Service

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