Nearly a year after a leaked recording that included racist remarks prompted widespread calls for his resignation, Los Angeles councilmember Kevin de León announced on Wednesday his intentions to run for reelection as representative of Council District 14.
In a sit-down interview with Politico the councilmember –whose district includes Boyle Heights, parts of downtown LA and other Northeast neighborhoods– addressed the backlash from the recording scandal.
“When a lot of people that I called my friends and allies turned away from me, my constituents had my back,” he told Politico.
De León maintains some support in Boyle Heights though community activists have demanded his resignation. Earlier in the year, a petition to put a recall measure on the 2024 ballot failed due to insufficient signatures.
De León was voted into office in 2020 after serving eight years in the state senate. He represented District 24 which encompasses a portion of Los Angeles including Boyle Heights.
De Leon was voted into office in 2020 after serving eight years in the state senate. His predecessor was José Huízar, who will be sentenced this year for soliciting and receiving illicit funds in exchange for political favors.
The incumbent faces competition from 10 other candidates who have filed for the race. As of now, De Leon has yet to formally file for candidacy. Several CD14 hopefuls are Boyle Heights residents including Dr. Nadine Diaz (who ran against Huízar in 2015), Wendy Carrillo, and Miguel Santiago.
Diaz is a geriatric social worker at the USC Alzheimer’s disease research center, her family has lived in Boyle Heights for three generations and she is currently the vice president of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council.. Carrillo grew up in the neighborhood and is currently a California assemblymember representing the 52nd district, which covers some of CD14. Santiago serves as the assemblymember for the 54th district, which includes Boyle Heights, and is a former ally to De León. Both Carrillo and Santiago have publicly distanced themselves from the councilmember after the recording was leaked in October.
Another notable candidate is Nick Pacheco, a former CD14 councilmember who served from 1999 to 2003.