- Republican Elizabeth Wong Ahlers, Crescenta Valley Town Council member
Ahlers is the only Republican in this race. She has received endorsements from the California Republican Party and several state GOP leaders. She previously taught English at UCLA, Glendale Community College and Los Angeles Valley College, according to her campaign bio, and served on several boards for humanitarian and educational work. A mother of six and grandmother to three, Ahlers told The Times she is prioritizing “parental involvement, tackling the fentanyl epidemic, and addressing homelessness.”
- Democrat Sandra Armenta, Rosemead City Council member and teacher
Longtime Rosemead resident Armenta was first elected to the City Council in 2009. Armenta went on leave from her job as a district representative in state Sen. Susan Rubio’s (D-Baldwin Park) office to focus on the election, according to Armenta’s campaign. She is a former teacher, with experience in special and general education, from kindergarten through high school. “My hands-on experience in education not only deepened my commitment to community service but also served as a catalyst for my eventual election to the City Council and now state Senate,” she told The Times. She describes herself as a moderate Democrat “with a record of working together with Republicans and Democrats to get things done.” She received endorsements from Democrats for Israel Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Police Officers’ Assn.
- Democrat Sasha Renée Pérez, Alhambra vice mayor
When Pérez was elected to her hometown’s City Council in 2020, she was immediately made mayor, becoming at age 28 the youngest mayor in Alhambra’s history. She told The Times that she ran for office after she “lost family members to the homelessness crisis.” Pérez has raised more than $631,000, according to state campaign finance records. Her donors include unions representing teachers, nurses and SEIU members; the Pasadena chapter of Planned Parenthood; and Smart Justice, a group that advocates for criminal justice reforms. Pérez said that as a state senator she wants to focus on “addressing rising housing costs, investing in public education, and fighting climate change.”
- Democrat Yvonne Yiu, Monterey Park City Council member and finance executive
Yiu is the best-funded candidate in the race, with more than $1 million in her coffer — much of which came from her own pocket, according to California secretary of state records. Yiu previously ran an unsuccessful campaign for state controller, also self-funding her run. As a City Council member, Yiu helped lead Monterey Park through the aftermath of a mass shooting at a nightclub in January 2023. She said she escaped the shooting by sheer chance — she had planned to go to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the shooting occurred, but made a last-minute change. On the City Council, Yiu said she’s enacted gun safety laws and supported climate action. “We need to elect a leader with a proven track record,” she said.
- Democrat Teddy Choi, professor and insurance agent
Choi has unsuccessfully run for state office in the past, switching his voter registration from Republican to Democratic in 2015, according to JoinCalifornia, an independently run political history project. A Korean immigrant who raised his children in the San Gabriel Valley, Choi previously served on the Pasadena police advisory board.
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