The political game of musical chairs will continue when 13 candidates will be listed on the ballot for an Oct. 3 special election to fill the vacated 51st Assembly District seat, the Secretary of State’s Office has announced.

This upcoming special election was prompted by then-Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s election to Congress in a special election June 6.

That election was held because long-time incumbent Rep. Xavier Becerra was named by Gov. Jerry Brown to be state attorney general.

The attorney general’s post was vacant because then-A.G. Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate, filling the post long held by Barbara Boxer who retired.

The Oct. 3 field in the overwhelmingly Democratic district includes 10 Democrats and one member each from the Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties.

Government innovation consultant Patrick Koppula will be listed on the ballot without a party preference.

If no candidate receives a majority, as is expected with the large field, a runoff among the top two candidates, regardless of party, will be held Dec. 5.

Candidates include Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees member Mike Fong; Gabriel Sandoval, deputy counsel to then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa from 2005-10; and former Montebello Unified School District Board of Education member David Vela.

Franky Carrillo, who spent 20 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned, had filed to run, but did not qualify for the ballot.

The  district includes Echo Park, Chinatown, Glassell Park, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, El Sereno, Highland Park, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, East Los Angeles and a portion of Silver Lake.

The special election was prompted by then-Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez’s election to Congress in a special election June 6.

—City News Service

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