Asm. Sydney Kamlager-Dove has secured the Senate seat held by her long time mentor Holly J. Mitchell with an overwhelming victory in the March 2 special election to serve out Mithchell’s remaining term. Kamlager’s departure to the state senate leaves a vacancy in Assembly District 54 which covers parts of West and South Los Angeles, including Culver City, Mid-City and Crenshaw. Two candidates have emerged as the top contenders to succeed Kamlager: Heather Hutt and Isaac Bryan.
Hutt most recently worked as Kamala Harris’ state director during her time as a U.S. Senator and notes she was inspired by the vice president and other Black women to run for office.
“I have had a large breadth of experience and after what has happened in these last four years, especially in this country, I feel like I bring that experience to the 54th Assembly District seat,” Hutt explained. “That I can bring my relationships and my experience for resources to people here.”
As a candidate, Hutt says her primary issues are addressing the homelessness and housing crisis, criminal justice reform and supporting small businesses who have been devastated by the pandemic.
“I’m running to protect the growth of our future generations. I’m running to expand resources in our community and I’m running to represent people I know and love and have known and loved and worked for on their behalf for my entire life,” Hutt said.
Hutt has already received several high-profile endorsements from many members of the California Legislative Black Caucus, including Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, and Asm. Mike Gipson, D-Carson.
Criminal justice expert Isaac Bryan is also running for the 54th Assembly District seat. He’s the Executive Director of UCLA’s Black Policy Project, who says he’s campaigning to bring positive reform to his community.
“We need a generation of leadership that centers people first and doesn’t cater to special interests the same way and stays rooted in the real conditions of our lives that need to be improved and that’s something that I’ve lived,” Bryan said.
After being born to a teen mom who gave him up for adoption as an infant, Bryan was raised by foster parents and has called California home since he was in the sixth grade.
He went on to earn his master’s at UCLA and most recently worked as the co-chair of the Measure J campaign in Los Angeles County.
“Measure J was a ballot measure that allocated 10% of unrestricted county revenue towards care and opportunity instead of towards punishment and incarceration,” Bryan explained.
So far, he’s been endorsed by L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell and L.A. Councilmember Mike Bonin and Mark Ridley-Thomas.