Kathryn Barger+Darrell Park

Left, Kathryn Barger; right, Darrell Park.

By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 07/06/16 – 9:09 PM PDT |

The two candidates hoping to replace retiring Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich honed in on their differences Wednesday as both get set to focus on a campaign that began with eight contenders.

Kathryn Barger, the top aide to Antonovich, and Darrell Park, an entrepreneur, plan different strategies to win the seat for the 5th District, which spans more than 2,800 square miles, including the Antelope, Santa Clarita and parts of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. Antonovich has held the seat for 36 years.

Barger, who raised $1.2 million before the June 7 primary election, is banking on experience, name recognition, and support from various unions. She topped the field with 105,520 votes or about 30 percent of the votes.

She received support from Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former Supervisor Gloria Molina as well as unions representing sheriff’s deputies and county firefighters, as well as the Service Employees International Union Local 721.

She plans to build on the broad coalition of people all across the district, said Bill Carrick, Barger’s campaign consultant.

“She knows the job, has experience on the job, but even more important than that, she knows the communities in the district,” Carrick said. “She understands their relationship to county government and what their needs are.”

The race to replace Antonovich began with an eight-candidate field, including gang prosecutor Elan Carr; Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander; state Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas; and Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian.

While Barger had a clear lead, the race for the second spot became a nail-biter, but Park finished with 55,185 votes, or about 16 percent of the votes, ahead of Huff, who had 52,359, or about 15 percent, according to results released by the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

The June 7 primary election results were certified last Friday.

Park said Wednesday his message on progressive values, real-world experiences and politics of hope and optimism stood out to “shock Los Angeles County’s political establishment.”

“I’m running to raise the quality of life of every single person in L.A. County and that means having a government whose one job is to serve everyone,” Park said.

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