Racial Politics Behind Race For Millender-Mcdonald Seat

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The 37th Congressional district includes most of Long Beach, Carson and Compton. In a special election tomorrow, voters will choose a replacement for Juanita Millender-McDonald who died of cancer in April. Even if nobody wins outright, the winner of the Democratic primary is expected to beat any Republican in a runoff. Like many predecessors, Millinder-McDonald was African-American. To replace her, the two leading candidates are African-American Assemblywoman Laura Richardson and Hispanic State Senator Jenny Oropeza. Millender-McDonald’s daughter, Valerie McDonald, is also running. All are Democrats, but the contest has raised questions about what’s been called an unwritten rule of Los Angeles politics.



  • Constance Rice - Civil rights attorney based in Los Angeles and Co-Director of the Advancement Project in Los Angeles


Warren Olney