Home > News and Politics > CONFIRMED: MAYOR FOSTER ENDORSES JAMES JOHNSON IN 7TH DISTRICT RACE

CONFIRMED: MAYOR FOSTER ENDORSES JAMES JOHNSON IN 7TH DISTRICT RACE

MAYOR BOB FOSTER

Mayor Bob Foster officially endorsed assistant city auditor James Johnson for the Seventh District seat on the Long Beach City Council today, confirming a report published Thursday by Redistricted!

The announcement came early this afternoon in a press release from the Johnson campaign and included this prepared statement from Foster: “James Johnson has the experience and leadership we need on the Long Beach City Council. I know James will always put the neighborhoods of the 7th District first and get right to work on important issues like balancing the City budget, fighting to clean up air pollution from the ports, and creating quality jobs.”

Johnson is making his first-ever run for public office against incumbent Tonia Reyes Uranga, who is seeking a third term. Johnson was the leading vote-getter (2,443, 44.8 percent) in the April 13 primary; Reyes Uranga’s name did not appear on the ballot because of Long Beach’s term-limit regulations, but she received enough write-in support (1,685 votes, 30.9 percent) to force a runoff on June 8, when her name will be on the ballot.

Despite Johnson’s victory in the primary, several local political insiders—including Randy Gordon, CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce—have publicly suggested that Reyes Uranga’s name recognition makes her the favorite in the runoff.

Foster’s decision to endorse Johnson—the mayor’s first endorsement near the end of a long political season—seems calculated to combat Reyes Uranga’s name recognition with his own.

“To single me out—I feel a little special,” says Reyes Uranga with a chuckle, although her little laugh couldn’t cover some hurt feelings. “Does he hate me that bad, or what?”

Johnson’s press release heralded the endorsement as “great news.”

“We are honored to have the support of Mayor Foster,” Johnson wrote. “I look forward to working together with him towards a better Long Beach.”

Meanwhile, it couldn’t hurt Johnson’s campaign fundraising, either; in fact, that’s the area that most concerns Reyes Uranga.

“With voters, I don’t think the mayor’s endorsement will make a lot of difference,” the councilmember says. “But with the money—with the people whose contributions make it possible to get the word out to voters—it may have an effect.”

Johnson’s campaign has been well-monetized from the get-go; as of last June 30—only 2½ months after he announced his candidacy—he had raised $53,650.70, more than eight times as much as his nearest opponent.

And Foster’s ability to shake the money tree is becoming the stuff of local legend. He’s raised nearly a million dollars for his campaigns in the past two years—more than $700,000 in support of his failed Measure I infrastructure referendum in 2008 and more than $250,000 his successful run for re-election campaign against Stevie Merino, a 21-year-old Cerritos College student from the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Foster is prohibited by Long Beach political ordinance from donating any of that money to another candidate.

“Mayor Bob Foster’s endorsement adds to our momentum, but we must continue to fight hard every day between now and June 8th to win this campaign,” Johnson said in wrapping up his press release. “I hope you will give today to allow us to spread news of this endorsement and our message of change for the 7th District.”

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  1. wrongbeachjohn
    May 10, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I would imagine that the “unofficial mayor” (unionboss whoredon)of wrong beach directed the elected mayor of wrong beach (blob foster…btw jeez what a photo, man is he snaggly…am I the only one who feels like putting their wallet in their front pocket after looking at that photo?) to get busy and help derail Tonia. Can’t have a council that wont provide corporate and buddy buddy city welfare money the way he likes it.
    Anyone find out how much Cal is gonna donate to whoredons PAC?

  2. wrongbeachjohn
    May 10, 2010 at 12:32 am

    “Foster’s ability to shake the money tree is becoming the stuff of local legend. He’s raised nearly a million dollars for his campaigns in the past two years—more than $700,000 in support of his failed Measure I infrastructure referendum in 2008 and more than $250,000 his successful run for re-election campaign”.

    And that’s all the slob has been good at. The city is in shambles, and with each day comes more bad news. Pitiful!

  3. Joe Mack
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