In Southern California, the midterm elections are ones for the history books.

California is set to send a record number of women to Sacramento to serve in the legislature, becoming even closer to reaching gender parity in the statehouse, according to the Legislative Women’s Caucus. And at least 10% of state lawmakers publicly identify as LGBTQ, believed to be the first for any state legislature in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.

In Southern California, several candidates are on track to become the “first” — first female mayors, first openly gay immigrant in Congress, first transgender elected official in Orange County and more.

From congressional contests to mayor races, here’s a look at seven trailblazers in Southern California this election season.

Ashleigh Aitken

Anaheim mayor candidate Ashleigh Aitken speaks to supporters after she arrived at a Democratic Party of Orange County election night party in Villa Park on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Anaheim mayor candidate Ashleigh Aitken speaks to supporters after she arrived at a Democratic Party of Orange County election night party in Villa Park on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Ashleigh Aitken, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and Orange counties, is on track to becoming Anaheim’s first female mayor in its 152-year history.

While the election results have not yet been certified, Aitken has maintained a sizeable lead over her three opponents in the race to lead Orange County’s largest city.

She is the chair of the Anaheim Community Services Board and serves on boards for Caterina’s Club, Alzheimer’s OC and OC Fair. She said she’s provided pro bono services for veterans and military families throughout her career.

Corey Jackson

Corey Jackson, political chair of the Riverside NAACP and a Riverside County Board of Education trustee by the Rise! Mosaic Mural in Riverside on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Corey Jackson, political chair of the Riverside NAACP and a Riverside County Board of Education trustee by the Rise! Mosaic Mural in Riverside on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Riverside County Board of Education trustee Corey Jackson is poised to make history as the first Black openly LGBTQ state lawmaker in California.

Jackson, who continues to hold a large lead in the 60th Assembly district contest, will also be the first Black person to represent Riverside County in the lower chamber of the statehouse.

“(I’m) extremely grateful to be able to take my service to the community to another level,” Jackson said. “(I’m) just grateful to the fact that my service to the community (and) my leadership to the community was recognized and (I) appreciate it.”

Helen Tran

San Bernardino mayoral candidate Helen Tran speaks to her supporters during her election watch party at Luxivair SBD in San Bernardino, Ca., Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)
San Bernardino mayoral candidate Helen Tran speaks to her supporters during her election watch party at Luxivair SBD in San Bernardino, Ca., Tuesday, November 8, 2022. (Contributing Photographer/John Valenzuela)

Helen Tran is on track to becoming only the third woman to hold the title of San Bernardino mayor. But she’ll also be the first Asian American to helm the city.

Tran is a human resources director who works in West Covina. She previously worked at City Hall for more than a decade.

“It’s a major breakthrough, especially in the (Asian American Pacific Islander) world,” Tran said. “There aren’t a lot of AAPI elected leaders, and even when I became a director, I was the only AAPI in that role. Now, being a mayor, that means that regardless of who you are, you can be a leader like a mayor and be able to be effective.”

“I try not to look at race because I look at the person, but it’s nice to know I am the first AAPI elected official in the history of San Bernardino, which speaks volumes,” she said.

Karen Bass

Rep. Karen Bass, the mayor-elect of Los Angeles, at Trejo's Coffee and Donuts in Los Angeles Thursday, Nov 3, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Rep. Karen Bass, the mayor-elect of Los Angeles, at Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts in Los Angeles Thursday, Nov 3, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

When Congresswoman Karen Bass is sworn in as the mayor of Los Angeles next month, she will become the city’s first female mayor — and only its second Black mayor.

A veteran lawmaker, Bass was also the first Black woman in the U.S. to serve as a state legislature’s speaker when she served in the Assembly.

She’s been representing California’s 37th congressional district, which covers parts of Los Angeles, Culver City, View Park and Ladera Heights, since 2011. She is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and sits on the Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees.

Robert Garcia

Rep.-elect Robert Garcia, D-Calif., listens during a news conference with Congressional Progressive Caucus members at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Rep.-elect Robert Garcia, D-Calif., listens during a news conference with Congressional Progressive Caucus members at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is heading to Congress to represent the newly drawn 42nd district. And with his win, Garcia will make history as the first openly gay immigrant in Congress, according to Politico.

Garcia is a deeply patriotic individual. In multiple interviews, he has said his upbringing as an immigrant from Peru led to a deep desire to give back to the U.S.

“I’m motivated by helping people,” he previously told the Southern California News Group. “I believe in working to do the best for the most you can.”

Stephanie Wade

Stephanie Wade is in a runoff election for a Seal Beach City Council seat. Earlier this year, Wade, a transgender woman, moderated a panel of LGBTQ veterans at Heroes Hall in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Stephanie Wade is in a runoff election for a Seal Beach City Council seat. Earlier this year, Wade, a transgender woman, moderated a panel of LGBTQ veterans at Heroes Hall in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The race for Seal Beach City Council District 3 is heading to a runoff, but if Stephanie Wade emerges victorious, she will be the first out transgender person elected to any office in Orange County, according to Equality California, a statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization.

Wade’s campaign also said she would be the only veteran and surfer on the City Council. She told the Southern California News Group that she didn’t run for office with the intent of becoming the first trans council member in Orange County.

“I’m not running to be an LGBT activist,” Wade, a former Marine infantry officer who works as a policy advisor to Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, said. “This is a great small town by the ocean. I don’t spend time talking about LGBT issues because that’s not really the major concerns here.”

Valerie Amezcua

Valerie Amezcua, vice president of the SAUSD School Board speaks to guests attending the grand opening ceremonies of the Garfield Elementary School Wellness Center in Santa Ana on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 located in the 113-year-old Pacific Electric substation No. 14 building. She is set to be Santa Ana's first female mayor, according to her campaign. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Valerie Amezcua, vice president of the SAUSD School Board speaks to guests attending the grand opening ceremonies of the Garfield Elementary School Wellness Center in Santa Ana on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 located in the 113-year-old Pacific Electric substation No. 14 building. She is set to be Santa Ana’s first female mayor, according to her campaign. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Santa Ana Unified School Board member Valerie Amezcua is set to be Santa Ana’s first female mayor, Paul Eakins, a spokesperson for Santa Ana, said.

A 30-year veteran of the Orange County Probation Department before her retirement in 2017, Amezcua has experience working in gang intervention and suppression as well as with domestic violence and sex crimes. She has earmarked homelessness as the No. 1 issue in Santa Ana.

Amezcua said she plans to “bring a positive and collaborative approach to solving problems at City Hall” and “fight to make government more responsive, equitable and transparent.”

Staff writer Roxana Kopetman contributed to this report. 

California

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Whiskey Riff Song Of The Week: “Just Like Honey” By Charley Crockett
Nia Long, Ime Udoka Reportedly Break Up After Coach’s Affair With Celtics Staffer
John Carter Cash Reflects On Overcoming Demons Alongside His Father, Johnny Cash: “He Was My Best Friend”
The Value of Old Systems
What Are Mis-, Dis-, and Mal- Information?: Book Censorship News, December 9, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *