Miguel Santiago and Kevin de León appear together at a Boyle Heights press conference in 2021. Photo by @lataino.

Former longtime allies Miguel Santiago and Kevin de León could go head-to-head in next year’s City Council District 14 election.

Santiago, the state legislator who represents the 54th Assembly District, said on Friday that he plans to run for City Council, possibly challenging the embattled incumbent. De León, who has resisted calls for resignation because of his involvement in a leaked racist conversation and recently survived a fourth recall effort, has not said if he plans to seek reelection in CD14.

Santiago was first elected to the State Assembly in November 2014 and represents a district that overlaps part of CD14, including Boyle Heights and Downtown Los Angeles. In his announcement, the Boyle Heights resident referred directly to the racist scandal involving De León.

“The time for a change in Los Angeles’ 14th District is now,” Santiago said to City News Service. “The current councilmember’s refusal to respect the overwhelming calls to step down, from the people he is supposed to serve all the way to the president of the United States, is holding back the progress we need on homelessness, housing, and the economic recovery we need in our neighborhoods.”

Both Democrats, Santiago and De León have long been political allies, appearing together at multiple events since the former was elected to City Council.

In an interview with ABC 7 aired Monday, De León refused to say if he was running for reelection.

“You will find out soon,” de León said. “I’m not on anybody’s timeline but my constituents’ timeline.”

A primary election for CD14 will be held in March 2024, with a runoff election in November of the same year if necessary.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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