(August 7, 2003) -- The LB Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed former Congressman and Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall for the 54th district Assembly seat being vacated on term limits by incumbent Alan Lowenthal. Mr. Kuykendall, a Republican, previously served in Congress and in the state Assembly.
"Steve Kuykendall is a pro-jobs and pro-business leader who will represent the communities in the 54th Assembly District and will fight for the needs of the districts businesses and residents," said Chamber Chairman Dave Neary in the release. Mr. Neary added, "In his years in the Congress, the State Assembly, as a Councilman and Mayor and as a businessman Steve has been a leader in cutting taxes and government waste, balancing budgets and working to help business create jobs and economic prosperity."
LB state Senator Betty Karnette is, like Lowenthal, facing term limits and has announced plans to run for the 54th district Assembly seat now held by Lowenthal. Both are Democrats.
The Chamber's release said pointedly, "Alan Lowenthal and Betty Karnette have been identified by both the Long Beach and California State Chamber as some of the most anti-jobs and anti-business voting legislators in the state."
Chamber President and CEO Randy Gordon said in the release, "Arriving at this endorsement has been a long and deliberative process that included polling, numerous meetings with community leaders and discussion with potential candidates." Mr. Gordon added, "We were not going to sit idle while these two anti jobs and anti-business legislators play musical chairs with their districts and the future of our community. Long Beach is one of the first Chamberís in the state to endorse a candidate for Assembly and we are proud to place our good name behind a common sense leader like Steve Kuykendall."
The California Chamber of Commerce VP for Corporate Affairs, Cassandra Pye, said in the LB Chamber's release, "In order to stimulate our economy, we need legislators who will fight to bring jobs and businesses to California. Unfortunately, our current legislature is consistently passing 'job killer' bills that are only hurting our business climate and driving jobs to neighboring states." She added, "That's why we're supporting Steve Kuykendall in the 54th Assembly District. He will work to help keep jobs here by opposing many of the 'job killer' bills and proposals that are considered each year."
The LB Chamber said its endorsement of Mr. Kuykendall marks the group's first direct involvement in an election for state office. The Chamber previously endorsed candidates for LB offices.