Up until recently, Tina McKinnor was one of four candidates—including vying for the 62nd State Assembly District seat left vacant by Autumn Burke, but with the recent endorsement of the L.A. Times, she has become the one to watch.
In February, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring a special election for the 62nd Assembly District—which includes Venice, Gardena, Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Westchester, Inglewood, Hawthorne and Lawndale— on June 7, 2022, the primary for which was set for April 5, following the sudden resignation of Autumn Burke in January.
Describing her as the best of the four running, the endorsement for the Times Editorial Board noted, “She understands the need for California to address homelessness by getting much more aggressive about building more affordable housing. She also wants to help the natural environment by incentivizing people to use public transit and to replace lawns with drought-tolerant landscapes. Furthermore, McKinnor knows how the sausage is made in Sacramento, having worked for two members of the Legislature, including Burke.”
“I’m ready to go to Sacramento—to take our peoples issues”, McKinnor stated in an online video as she announced her run. “You need people like me who can go to Sacramento, who have all this experience in government, all this experience with the real people on the ground, and take the data, listen to our people, work with the unions to try and create some good jobs and do some real bold policy in Sacramento.”
A self-described grassroots political influencer, McKinnor serves as the civic engagement director for L.A. Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith, community-based organization and as founder/president of The McKinnor Group, which provides political campaign management, lobbying and public affairs.
As the former Operational Director for the California Democratic Party, McKinnor managed the daily operations of the $30M organization and led fundraising efforts generating over $10 million annually. Her endorsements include Supervisor Holly Mitchell, State Sen. Steve Bradford, U. S. Rep. Maxine Waters and City Councilmember Mike Bonin, as well as the California Legislative Black Caucus and Equality California.
By all accounts her stiffest competition is coming from Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles, who served as a district director for former Assemblymember Burke and to his credit is endorsed by Burke as well as the California Democratic Party.
“As your next Assemblymember, I will do for our district what I have already done as Mayor, and Councilmember: create good paying jobs, help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, combating our homelessness crisis, and keep our communities safe and thriving,” Pullen-Miles said in a statement.
“Business revitalization and workforce development are important priorities. In Lawndale we secured $2 million for infrastructure improvements and $4 million for the construction of a new Youth Development Center. These are real results people can appreciate, touch and use.”
Also vying for the seat are Hawthorne City Councilmember Angie Reyes English, who previously served as a Senior District Representative in the 51st Assembly District and Nico Ruderman, a former member of the Venice Beach Neighborhood Council.
If none of the four wins over 50% of the vote, a runoff is scheduled for June 7.