Last night at a holiday party for the West Los Angeles Democratic Club, state Board of Equalization Chair Dr. Judy Chu announced her intention to run for the Congressional seat vacated by Hilda Solis, who will become the Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration. Before getting on the Board of Equalization, Chu served the 49th Assembly district, which is inside Solis' Congressional district and includes the heavily Asian Monterey Park, as well as El Monte and Rosemead. Her husband, Mike Eng, currently holds that seat (I guess that means Eng isn't running). Before that, Chu served on the Monterey Park City Council.
Chu and likely candidate Gloria Romero have faced each other before, in a primary for state Assembly in 1998. Romero won, but when she moved up to the State Senate in 2001 (replacing Solis) Chu took over the Assembly seat. I think the race may depend on who else is in the field. If Gil Cedillo or one of the Calderon brothers decide to run, Chu may have an advantage as the only Asian candidate among a field of Latinos. Also, a lot may depend on whether or not Solis endorses. Union support will also be critical.
Chu was an professor for 13 years, and in the Assembly she sat on the Transportation Committee and the Health Committee. Her ratings in the Assembly from the major interest groups were all top-rate. It should be a spirited race, and I hope to hear Chu's stands on key national issues.