Claremont Insider: Soto to Retire?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Soto to Retire?

Centinel at the Foothill Cities Blog came across a news bit from Capitol Alert, a Sacramento Bee website that covers state government, reporting that Assemblywoman Nell Soto (D-Pomona) has missed every legislative session since September and that she may not run again in November.

The FC Blog first broke the story last year that Soto had been absent from the Assembly for a couple months due to health problems and that she had continued to receive per diem during her absence. Soto, who was at her home in Pomona while she was sick, returned to Sacramento, but apparently has had additional health problems.

The Capitol Alert piece noted that while she was absent in 2007 Soto collected $22,032.00 in per diem for travel and living expenses (for an apartment Soto maintains in Sacramento). So far in 2008 Soto has collected $10,000 more.

Capitol Alert noted that ever-ambitious Democratic Party superdelegate and Pomona Mayor Norma Torres, is ready to seek Torres' seat:

Norma Torres, a Democrat, is laying the groundwork for a run in preparation for Soto’s potential retirement.

“To date, she has not pulled papers. I am getting ready,” said Torres. “The primary is just around the corner.”

This Friday is the deadline for incumbents to file for re-election. If Soto does not file, the deadline will be extended one week. The Democratic primary for Assembly District 61, which is considered a safe Democratic seat with a 12-point registration advantage, takes place on June 3. No Republican has filed for the seat.

Torres said Soto's deteriorating health prompted her to consider running. The legislator has battled multiple bouts of pneumonia since her election in 2006, [Soto campaign aide Mike] Lewis said.

“That’s one of the reasons I started exploring this and talking a little bit about what it means,” Torres said.

Capitol Alert also indicated that Torres will have some competition with Maurice Ayala, the son of former Chino state senator Ruben Ayala, for the seat. Ayala High School in Chino Hills is named for Ruben, who served in the state . You can read the Capitol Alert article here (registration required).