Two days after Autumn R. Burke’s resignation as assemblywoman from the 62nd District became official, Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday declared a special election will be held April 5 for the vacant seat.
If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held June 7, coinciding with the statewide primary election, Newsom’s office also announced.
Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles, Burke’s district director and fellow Democrat, announced his candidacy for the seat Tuesday and received Burke’s endorsement that day.
“As your next assemblymemember, I will do for our district what I have already done as mayor and councilmember — create good paying jobs, help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, combat our homelessness crisis and keep our communities safe and thriving,” Pullen-Miles said in announcing his candidacy.
Burke’s mother, former Los Angeles County Supervisor, Assemblywoman and Rep. Yvonne Braithwaite Burke, endorsed Pullen-Miles Thursday. He has also been endorsed by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts.
The district consists of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale, El Segundo, and Gardena, the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, and Del Rey, and the unincorporated communities of Del Aire, West Athens, Lennox, Westmont and Marina del Rey.
Burke, citing family priorities, announced her resignation Monday, and it became effective Tuesday.
“I feel it is of the utmost importance that I have the flexibility and ability to spend more time with my family,” the Democrat, who was elected in 2014, said in announcing her resignation.
In a letter to her constituents, Burke wrote that the COVID-19 pandemic “has affected the lives and consciousness of everyone and I am no exception.”
“Serving as your representative has been a true privilege — one that I have taken seriously. This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life.”
Burke wrote that her hope was to finish out her term, which expires in December — “but circumstances have recently changed.”
The 48-year-old Burke is the mother of a daughter, Isabella, whose signature was next to her mother’s on the letter announcing her resignation.
Burke was elected in 2014 and reelected three times. She chaired the Committee on Revenue and Taxation and the Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce.
Burke’s election marked the first time a mother and daughter have both served in the Assembly. Her mother was the first member of Congress to give birth while in office — to Autumn Burke.
Burke is also the daughter of William Burke, a former chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board and founder of the Los Angeles Marathon.
Burke wrote that after leaving the Assembly, she would continue “to work passionately for the issues most pressing for the state of California.”
“At the forefront of my work, I will continue to focus on lifting African Americans by helping grow the Black voice throughout the entire political process and at all levels of government,” Burke wrote.
Burke’s resignation brings the Assembly’s total number of vacancies to five.