Laura Richardson, Michelle Chambers Lead District 37 Senate Race to Replace Sen. Steven Bradford

Elgin Nelson

Former U.S. Congresswoman Laura Richardson and former Compton City councilmember, Michelle Chambers currently lead in District 37 State Senate race, with hopes to advance to November’s general election. 

Richardson leads Chambers with 27% of the vote as Chambers is currently polling with 23% of the vote. The two are looking to succeed Sen. Steven Bradford, who served for eight years in his role as senator. Chambers, holding the second place slot, landed the endorsement of the outgoing State Senator.

“I am proud to support Michelle Chambers for State Senate. Michelle is a true public servant. She has worked tirelessly at the federal, state, and local level of government serving the public and supporting the needs of the community, said Sen. Bradford. “I am confident that Michelle possesses the knowledge, integrity, and commitment to get things done and will continue to provide the leadership that the residents of the 35th Senate District deserve and expect.”

Originally hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Chambers made a pivotal move to Compton in the early 1990s. Her time on the Compton City Council marked a significant chapter facing political  challenges as she clashed with former Compton City Manager Cecil Rhambo and engaged in a public dispute with the now-disgraced former Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan, who faced charges of vote rigging and bribery, resulting in his loss of office.

Amidst these political struggles, Chambers faced a personal tragedy as her brother, the critically acclaimed and award-winning actor Michael K. Williams, succumbed to a fentanyl overdose. 

Motivated by a deep concern for the well-being of her community, Chambers highlighted the alarming African-American mortality rate in the region. She pointed to pervasive health issues ranging from mental health to diabetes, high blood pressure, and childbirth complications, particularly affecting the most vulnerable members of the community.

“The issues plaguing Senate District 35 demand an experienced representative who is respected and builds bridges in our communities,” said Chambers.

Still, Chambers faces steep competition in the former U.S. Congresswoman Laura Richardson, who currently leads in first place in the race.

“Throughout my time in public office, I worked hard, brought money and resources into my district, and in conjunction with a committed staff, resolved resident casework for disability and social security claims, significantly adding to much-needed benefits and payments for residents,” said Richardson.

District 35 includes the Los Angeles County communities of LAX, Inglewood, Compton, Carson, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Wilmington, San Pedro, and unincorporated communities of East and West Rancho Dominguez, Lennox, West Athens, Westmont, and Willowbrook.

Prior to her political career, Richardson earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern California. In 2000, Laura was elected to serve on the Long Beach City Council. After six years, she would go on to serve in the California State Assembly representing the 55th District. 

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