Posted: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 – 3:45 PM
(CNS) – State Treasurer John Chiang began what is being billed as a statewide listening tour for his campaign for governor Tuesday in Boyle Heights, one day short of a year before the primary election, and he picked up an endorsement from Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar.
“John is the very definition of a public servant,” Huizar said at Mariachi Plaza. “If you want flash and no substance, look no further than the White House at this time, and see how that’s working out. But if you want a trusted, steady and fearless leader who knows when to be tough against special interests, who knows when to cross the aisle to get things done for the people, then John Chiang is your choice for governor.”
The endorsement comes as a bit of a surprise in the gubernatorial race, given Huizar’s relationship with candidate and former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who supported Huizar’s bid to replace him on the City Council.
Their relations became strained during the 2015 election season, however, when Villaraigosa backed former county Supervisor and Councilwoman Gloria Molina in her bid to unseat Huizar.
Villaraigosa has not commented on Huizar’s backing of Chiang.
Chiang thanked Huizar for his support, calling him a “dear friend” and an “extraordinary council member.”
“This is such a fantastic place,” he told the crowd of supporters. “I am so honored to be in this community. I strongly support Jose and his extraordinary efforts to strengthen this community by investing in safer neighborhoods.”
After the event at Mariachi Plaza, where mariachi musicians have gathered since the 1930s in hopes of being hired by visitors, Chiang visited the Libros Schmibros Lending Library and dined at Al & Bea’s Mexican Restaurant.
Chiang chose to start the tour in Boyle Heights because of its rich history as a multi-ethnic community of immigrants that reflects the “vibrant and rich diversity throughout California,” according to his campaign.
The second stop will be in San Francisco Wednesday.
Chiang officially began efforts to run for governor on May 17, 2016, when he opened an account to raise money for a campaign.
“I’m running for governor to make sure the future my parents provided for my family becomes a reality for the future of all California families,” Chiang told City News Service in February response to a series of questions emailed to his campaign.
“As a child of immigrant parents, me and my siblings grew up in a much different time. My parents arrived in this country, each dreaming of a better future. While their determination and relentlessness led to a middle-class neighborhood with better schools, we still experienced bigotry, as the first Asian-American family on the block, but my parents never gave up on a better life for my family.”
The field to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, who is barred from running for re- election in 2018 because of term limits, also includes Chiang’s fellow Democrats Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Villaraigosa and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.
Chiang was elected treasurer in 2014 after two terms as controller. He was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and later was an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.